This article from LinkedIn highlights the importance of gender-equitable hiring processes and a transgender-inclusive workplace policy. Transgender Rights activist Kalki Subramanium shares a personal experience where two transgender candidates were hired by a company but left within two months due to transphobia and bullying in the workplace. Kalki emphasizes the need for organizations to not only employ transgender individuals but also create a safe and discrimination-free environment for them to work in. Her article stresses that transgender people deserve equal treatment and respect, and outlines critical steps organizations can take to ensure transgender inclusivity in the workplace.
Here is the article I wrote for hashtag#IWD2023 about the importance of gender-equitable hiring in organizations. If you believe in equal opportunities for all!– Kalki Subramanium
Ten years ago, a multi-national company approached me for hiring two transgender candidates for their sales process. I asked them if their company is really ready to do that and if they have a workplace policy that upholds anti-discrimination and transgender inclusivity. They told me they are working on it and will soon be 100% fulfilling DEI goals.
I recommended two transgender graduates and these girls were recruited by the company. The girls were very excited to be a part of the mega-corporate company, they had been previously working as sex workers due to lack of acceptance and joblessness and this opportunity was a boon to change their lifestyles and truly accepted or so they thought.
All was good and I didn’t hear back from them. However, within two months, I got a call from the company that they both had not come to the office for a week. I called one of them and spoke. She was hesitant but finally told me that she was constantly bullied with comments, someone would always make a pass or someone would always giggle when they passed by some of the employees’ cabins. It was too much for them to bear. So they left.
The organization had done nothing to address transphobia, failed to find the problem and create solutions, and did not take action to create a sense of belonging for these girls who were employees. They failed to practice DEIB with commitment.
Hiring transgender people takes true commitment if an organization believes in the practice of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Gender-equitable hiring processes are very important in order to confirm equal opportunities for all candidates irrespective of religion, race, gender, or any other discriminatory reasons. It not only helps to create a workplace where diversity is endorsed and treasured, but it also delivers businesses with the varied possible talent pool from which to draw.
If your organization is hiring a transgender person as an employee, you must understand that firstly, your organization and its employees should not be biased or transphobic and must have been sensitized on LGBTQIA+ people, their issues, and their rights. The office must have a friendly atmosphere where newly hired employee who may or may not have outed themselves as transgender person feels safe and free.
Individuals or teams from a company that does the hiring process should understand that transgender people prefer to be called by the pronouns that they wish to be. Right from asking their preferred pronouns to not asking too many personal questions (about their gender affirmative surgery etc.,) is important.
Remember that if you are offering jobs for transgender persons, it is not a privilege you are offering them because you sympathize with them, no not at all. They should be getting the jobs because of their talent and knowledge in the field, the offer letter is a recognition that they are wanted for their services.
Remember that just because you are ‘giving them an opportunity because she/he/they are transgender’ you cannot pay them lower than their fellow employees, men, and women, with the same work experience, talent, and education.
Understand that if your organization practices gender-equitable hiring processes, treating transgender employees fairly and equally is of utmost importance. This will result in higher job satisfaction among them, and their sense of belonging will be higher with an increase in their productivity and higher contributions to the organization.
Does your organization have a workplace policy that ensures transgender inclusivity? Will transgender women be treated the way they want to? Will they be safe? If you are not sure about this, then make sure your organization has a Transgender Inclusive Workplace Policy that clearly guarantees a safe and discrimination-free environment and assures equal opportunities by integrating infrastructure changes, bias-free recruitment, employee benefits, and promotion for transgender persons. Transgender people are humans and they deserve equal treatment, and transgender women are women and must be treated equally with respect and dignity.