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Creating Trans-Inclusive Workplaces



My Co-Director of Marquette’s new Institute for Women’s Leadership, Jennica Webster, just penned this fantastic article with two colleagues on creating trans-inclusive workplaces. It debuts in the March-April 2020 issue of the Harvard Business Review. Paraphrasing from their excellent work, I’ll provide a preview.

The emotional weight of having to deny and suppress one of the most fundamental aspects of who you are—your gender identity—because it doesn’t conform with society’s norms regarding gender expression, can we overwhelming. This piece covers the issues that pervade the daily experiences of many trans people, who often experience stigma and discrimination, hostility, and pressure to “manage” their identities in social settings—including the workplace—to suit the expectations of others.

The authors argue that despite a growing global awareness of the struggles trans people face, many employers remain ill-equipped to create the policies and workplace cultures that would support trans employees. And, failure to adopt trans-specific policies and practices can cost businesses dearly in the form of higher turnover, decreased engagement and productivity, and possible litigation.

The three authors have spent the past seven years learning from a diverse population of trans people. They’ve interviewed and surveyed more than 1,000 trans employees from a range of industries and professions throughout North America. In their article they share the voices and experiences of trans people and outline what they’ve learned. Bravo Christian Thoroughgood, Katina Sawyer and Jennica Webster!

Jean

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