IT’S VITAL FOR BUSINESSES TO BE
AWARE OF GENDER IDENTITY IN
THE WORKPLACE AND WHAT CAN
BE DONE TO MAKE THEIR WORK
CULTURE BOTH SAFE AND INCLUSIVE.
Periodic educational seminars on gender identity can be imple-mented
by HR managers to keep all employees up-to-date with
changes in terminology, dialogue and sensitivity training.
A WORD ON INTERSECTIONALITY
Intersectionality is, “the complex, cumulative way in which the
effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism
and classism) combine, overlap or intersect, especially in the expe-riences
of marginalized individuals or groups.”
In the workplace, there will be employees of different cultural
or socio-economic backgrounds that are also in the trans commu-nity.
In these cases, cumulative harassment can be an issue for any
person who is facing a number of challenges associated with inter-sectional
HR managers and employers must be aware of the complex
issues surrounding intersectional bias and harassment. It is their
duty to educate themselves and their employees about the impera-tive
nature of observing inclusivity and sensitivity for persons who
would fall in these categories.
OBSERVANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
An emphasis on mental health in the workplace, specifically in
accordance with gender identification, has become increasingly
important. Protection and sensitivity for those living with mental
health issues has come to the forefront of the conversation, giving
employers a lot to examine in the work environment.
EAP services are an invaluable recommendation for anyone
who has struggled with mental health issues as a result of gender-identifying
harassment. These services provide medical referrals,
counselling services and family counselling to any employees who
need them. These programs are not only integral to the health and
wellness of a business, they can also save lives.
Leading by example, as well as encouraging positive discussion
surrounding mental health and gender identity, are promising
steps towards enhancing company wellness. When employees feel
as though there is space for them to speak and be heard, they will
not only feel safer in the workplace, they will feel as though they
are part of the team.
Above all things, employers and HR managers must always let
employees know that they can speak to them about any concerns
with discrimination, especially in terms of personal choices relat-ing
to gender identification. By leaving room for an open dialogue,
businesses will make a positive effect on their employees’ lives,
enriching the work environment with strong diversity and mean-ingful,
change-oriented conversation. n
Charles Benayon is the founder of Aspiria Corp.
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ DECEMBER 2018 ❚ 33