Employers in Transition

It’s time for workplaces to modernize and get on board with ensuring LGBTQ+ employees feel safe and protected in their work environment.

One of the challenges facing today’s HR managers and business leaders is ensuring their work environments are safe spaces for employees identifying as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning). To many in the C-suite, accommodating transgender staff requires a flexible perspective on how gender is perceived in today’s ever-evolving identity norms. However, such open-mindedness has to be put into action, according to HR experts and managers from several Canadian companies.

First, respecting someone’s gender identity falls under the human-rights legislation applied on both federal and provincial levels. Provincial human-rights charters or codes across Canada don’t allow employers to conduct any form of discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression in the employment context — including hiring, training or promoting individuals. That legislation also prohibits terminating a transgender person’s employment on either of these grounds.

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Drag queen applying makeup in a mirror

Tips on Being Trans-Friendly

If you’re unfamiliar with the language and support required to accommodate your transgender employees, it can feel overwhelming to get everything perfect. But you can start with the basics and work your way up. 

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Dave Silverberg

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David is a freelance journalist, editor, writing coach, workshop facilitator, spoken word poet, and former artistic director of Toronto Poetry Slam. I’ve been published in dozens of publications such as The Washington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star, BBC News, Business Insider, Vice, Popular Mechanics, New Scientist, and many more.

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