True equality in the workplace begins with respect, and this is especially the case with trans and gender diverse people.
The first and easiest way to convey your respect is to use their correct pronouns, and if it is not possible for you to recognise that person’s pronoun, it is best to ask.
The gender pronoun is as presented. A trans woman is she, a trans man is he, and a non-gender specific person is they.
A non-gender specific person, also known as non-binary, is a person that does not identify as either gender, or perhaps, they identify as both.
Understanding their situation is far less important than respecting their gender identity.
It is a well documented fact that a happy employee will yield higher productivity in the workplace, and this is the case for all genders.
Humans are fixated by appearance, it is natural and inherent to all of us. The problem for many very highly educated and experienced trans people who have recently transitioned is that they may not be perceived by employers as acceptable enough because they don’t pass as men or women, and some never will.
The greatest problem with this way of thinking is the sheer waste of human equity and expertise in professionals across all fields of employment, which in turn forces more strain on social welfare and taxes.
Something important to remember is that all people are human, irrespective of gender diversity, and their value to the workforce is exactly the same as it was before, irrespective of their appearance now.
So how do we ensure this virtually untapped commodity is comfortable remaining in or returning or to the workforce?
We begin with respecting who they are, by respecting their gender identity.
Katherine Wolfgramme is a trans and gender diversity consultant, presenter, and adviser.