- A gap remains between the daily experiences of transgender, nonbinary and gender fluid workers and their desired workplace culture, according to research from WFD Consulting.
- Many workplaces have policies in place, but "having core values and an established code of conduct aren’t enough," WFD said. Namely, LGBTQ individuals said they would like to be respected and valued, and to feel safe and welcomed at work. The organization found that transgender employees value inclusive medical benefits, dress codes and leave policies, as well as guidance on transitioning at work.
- The report recommended that employers provide workers with inclusive benefits; establish inclusive policies and practices; avoiding one-size-fits-all approaches to gender identity; create cultural competence trainings; and base performance on merit, not gender identity or expression. The study also noted that Gen Z is entering the workforce with an inclusive perspective of gender identity, and that employers need to be prepared. The findings were based on interviews with employers, gender identity experts, workers and parents of trans and nonbinary children.
Employees generally are pessimistic about the progress employers are making toward diversity and inclusion, a recent Glassdoor study found; in fact, three in five employees surveyed said they experienced or witnessed discrimination in the workplace. Millennials and Gen Z, as the WFD study also noted, were particularly vocal about the need to improve inclusion at work.
Employers can prepare by considering the steps WFD recommended; it's also important for HR professionals to consider how they will handle the day-to-day questions that arise. For example, employers may want to consider pronoun policies. How much leeway does HR have in making sure everyone's pronouns are used respectfully? Quite a bit, experts previously told HR Dive; but to ensure inclusion, employers will want to be wary of phrasing. Employers may want to use the term "respect" instead of "value" regarding gender policy, Jonathan Segal, partner at Duane Morris LLP, said; using the term "value" could introduce issues by implying the need for "religious agreement."
While the workplace has improved for some LGBTQ workers, according to polls from Bospar PR, employers may still have work to do when it comes to D&I initiatives. Curtis Sparrer, principal at Bospar PR, suggested that employers install LGBTQ advisory boards and host regular education sessions about issues LGBTQ employees face.