There’s still a long way to go to create inclusive environment for transgender employees

By: |
November 13, 2021 12:42 PM

More than 50% of transgender employees in the US are not comfortable being out at work

Transgender adults are twice as likely as cisgender adults to be unemployed

Many organisations across the world have started actively working on diversity and inclusivity. Despite growing awareness, employers have a long way to go to make transgender employees feel safe and valued at work. According to a McKinsey study on the workplace, focused on the United States, more than 50% of transgender employees are not comfortable being out at work. As a result, they tend to limit themselves to certain industries, especially due to safety issues. Moreover, around 66% (two-thirds) prefer to stay in the closet in professional interactions outside their own companies.

The findings have also revealed that transgender adults are twice as likely as cisgender adults to be unemployed. Even when they have a job, they face the issue of pay-gap as cisgender employees earn 32% more money a year compared to transgender employees, even if the latter have an equal or higher level of education.

“I decided a while ago that I’m just going to get through work until I can retire,” explains one worker in a manufacturing plant. The goal is to not be fully out–it’s just to not feel unsafe like I did in my previous job. I can survive being closeted for now,” a worker in a manufacturing plant stated, as quoted in the McKinsey report.

Transgender employees are likely to feel far less supported at the workplace than their cisgender colleagues which can grow a sense of alienation and insecurity among them. As many of them find it more difficult to understand workplace culture and benefits, it becomes harder for them to get promoted.

Creating a transgender-inclusive workplace can benefit everyone. According to the report, the increase in employment and wage equity for transgender people can lead to an additional $12 billion in consumer spending. Additionally, an inclusive environment may bring a greater sense of engagement among employees.

“To craft more inclusive policies for transgender employees, it’s important to understand the barriers that transgender people contend with not only in the workplace but outside it as well. To begin with, the transgender experience often gets erased or ignored because people simply don’t have the vocabulary to talk about it or are afraid they’ll cause offense by getting the words they do know wrong,” McKinsey said in a blog post.

Read Also: How India is taking over the gig economy on a global stage

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