In the workplace, transgender individuals continue to face discrimination, with “43.8 percent of transgender employees reported experiencing verbal harassment at work, compared to 29.3 percent of cisgender LGB employees,” according to a 2021 study from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

In the UK, BSC, the Chartered Institute for IT marked International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) with a call to end transphobic hatred, harassment and abuse in the technology industry, and make the community safe and welcoming for all LGBTQIA+ people, regardless of their gender identity and expression.

“As the BCS has rightly called out, we must collectively put an end to transphobic abuse and harassment in the technology industry… it’s about creating an open dialogue so that Trans people have the psychological safety to share what they need in order to thrive at work,” says Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing at Fujitsu.

 

Transphobic abuse

Commenting on how people are often ‘too scared to say the wrong thing’, Metcaff stresses the importance of educating colleges on the steps they can take to have the right conversations.

This will enable an inclusive culture for Trans people as well as colleagues.

“Ultimately, Trans people just want to be accepted and live life as their true self like everyone else. We as a workplace must ensure that we have an inclusive culture, founded on acceptance and respect, to ensure this is the case at work,” adds Metcaff.

 

Admiral Levine  

Levine began her career in public service in 2015 as physician general of Pennsylvania, and more recently served as Pennsylvania’s secretary of health. She has two children, is a “rabid” fan of the New England Patriots, and a staunch advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community.

She told the Today show in 2020, “As an openly transgender woman and a proud member of our community, I hopefully educate people that LGBTQ people are here. We’re part of the community and we really try to work towards the common good.”

HR Brew recently spoke with Admiral Levine about her dedication to DE&I, coming out as transgender at work, and her view on the responsibility of employers to speak out against anti-trans legislation.

In response to a question concerning what she is hopeful for in terms of representation, Levine responded with:

“[T]he most important message is the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion for all communities in our nation. I’m such a strong supporter of that for businesses, for schools and universities, in education, in government, in health care, and in every setting. That includes creating not just a tolerant or accepting environment, but a welcoming environment, for all diverse communities, including the LGBTQI+ community.

“We have a president who supports us and sees us, and frequently articulates his support for the LGBTQI+ community, particularly his support for transgender individuals and trans youth. And I think it is important to support and empower our trans youth and our gender-diverse youth to be able to overcome the challenges that they face.”

A large responsibility lies with employers to speak out against both anti-trans legislation, and discrimination directed towards Trans individuals.