For Transgender Day of Visibility, ASU member Sam Elkin has shared 5 quick tips for how to be a good comrade and make your workplace more inclusive of your trans and gender diverse workers.
To trans employees, it matters a lot when workplaces provide them with easy access to change their name and gender marker on their official work record without fuss or without making them provide evidence of surgical procedures.
2. Gender neutral toilets
There’s a growing understanding that providing at least one gender-neutral bathroom in every workplace is an important part of maintaining the basic standards of inclusivity. That hasn’t been won everywhere but it’s increasing and I hope that continues.
3. Pronoun cueing
There are also simple cultural shifts you can make, like pronoun cueing for when a new staff member begins work. Just having a respectful conversation to let people know what the person’s pronoun is and using respectful, inclusive language. Especially for workers who are in client or customer-facing roles, you don’t necessarily know what you’re going to get from those people, so knowing your colleagues have got your back is enormously helpful.
4. Respectful communication
That includes not asking trans people intrusive questions about their bodies or personal lives at work. It means correcting people if they mis-gender someone, and being prepared to call out transphobic “jokes” or language when you hear it. Something else to remember is that it’s not just T&GD people affected by transphobia at work – it’s also their partners and family members.
5. Get educated
Nowadays, gendered violence at work – which includes sexual harassment, homophobia and transphobia – is recognised as an OHS hazard by WorkSafe and employers have a legal responsibility and duty of care to minimise this risk and provide a safe, inclusive workplace. Trades Hall runs training around Safe and Respectful workplaces for union members across all sectors, as well as Health and Safety Representative training.
Find out more about Trades Hall’s Safe and Respectful workplaces training here.