National Federation of Builders commercial director Danny Clarke says that building companies should become consciously ‘trans-inclusive’. He says that companies shoudl set down policies to protect any employee that chooses to conform to different gender norms to those commonly expected of their birth gender.
“Many workplaces will operate under general anti-harassment and bullying policies, yet it may be worth creating a separate, trans-inclusive policy (or potentially expanding your equality and diversity policies, if applicable),” Mr Clarke writes, in a post for the Construction Industry Council website. “This policy should specifically focus on transgender employees and act as guidance for employees on what is acceptable in the workplace.”
He says: “Contracts, policies and other workplace documents should be gender inclusive and use gender-neutral terminology. Ensure that the correct pronouns and names are used for trans employees and include options that are gender-neutral in any forms, software and processes used in the organisation.”
His post concludes: “Training on equality and gender identity should be given to employees, with priority for line managers and employees involved in recruitment – for example, do employees involved in recruitment have an awareness of how to respond to the disclosure of a candidate’s gender identity in an interview or the legal protection involved?
“Additionally, communication should be encouraged first and foremost, so that trans employees know that any issues they may have will be resolved respectfully and with sensitivity.
“Being a vocal supporter of the LGBTQIA community (and the support you offer your own employees) on social media, for example, shouldn’t be performative. If your awareness and support campaigns aren’t followed by measurable action, then it is likely that trans, as well as other employees, will see this as disingenuous, rather than true activism.
“If you want employees to feel comfortable in the workplace, the best way is to encourage them by practising these behaviours yourself. For example, encouraging pronoun introductions, and including them in email signatures and any other business-related profiles. This type of approach will make employees feel more comfortable and open to sharing their own experiences without fear of reprisal.
“Keep in mind that the potential risk of backlash for a cisgender person sharing their pronouns and encouraging the use/introduction of pronouns will be minimal, yet this will pay off massively in creating an open, inclusive company culture.”