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International Day of Transgender Visibility: A Guide for HR Teams

Rachel Greenway
Last updated on March 28, 2024

Part of an HR professional's role is to help shape an inclusive and supportive workplace culture that celebrates diversity and promotes understanding. 

Supporting trans rights should be part of this, alongside protecting other characteristics as defined under the Equality Act of 2010. With International Day of Transgender Visibility approaching on 31st March, HR teams should consider how to better uphold these rights in the workplace and cultivate safe spaces for gender expression. This day is dedicated to celebrating the contributions of transgender people worldwide while also raising awareness of the discrimination they often face.

In light of the International Transgender Day of Visibility 2024, let's explore how HR teams can effectively support transgender employees and create a more inclusive environment. This guide aims to provide actionable insights and ideas to ensure your organisation is well-equipped to celebrate not just on this day but throughout the year.

What is the International Transgender Day of Visibility?

Before diving into how HR can provide support on the day, it's important to understand what it signifies. The day was founded in 2009 to celebrate the lives and contributions of transgender people while also highlighting the challenges they continue to face in society. It's a day for action, reflection, and reaffirmation of the commitment to support and uplift the transgender community.

Why is it important for HR teams?

Creating an inclusive workplace is not just about meeting legal requirements; it's about building a culture where every employee feels valued, respected, and included. 

Recognising this day of visibility is a powerful way to signal your organisation's commitment to this goal. But it doesn’t stop there. Recognising the challenges transgender people face on a daily basis should be front of mind for HR teams all year round, especially when it comes to designing policy.

transgender rights

How can HR support International Transgender Day of Visibility?

Educate and engage

Start with education. Host workshops or training sessions focused on transgender awareness and inclusivity. These could cover how to promote better acceptance of people in their chosen gender, how to support self-identification and self-declaration of gender identity and what allyship looks and sounds like.

You could also offer resources that can help employees understand the experiences of their transgender colleagues and their gender identity and expression.

Review your policies

Ensure your company's policies explicitly protect transgender employees from discrimination and harassment as stipulated in the Equality Act of 2010. This includes having clear procedures for name changes, gender affirmation leave, and access to gender-neutral facilities.

This extends to the technology your team uses as well. Implement systems that offer the right selection of categories to recognise different gender identities and which allow employees to use the correct pronouns to self-identify.

 

Offer enhanced leave 

Consider offering enhanced leave for those who may require time off as part of their transition. This can be helpful for covering any required medical support and for giving trans employees the time and space to adjust.

Create visibility

Use the International Transgender Day of Visibility as a platform to share stories and contributions of transgender individuals within your organisation and the wider community. This could be through internal newsletters, social media, or guest speakers.

Foster a culture of allyship

Encourage allyship by creating spaces for open conversation, such as support groups or forums. Provide guidance on how to be a good ally, including the use of correct pronouns and challenging transphobic behaviour.

If you haven’t done so already, then it might be a good idea to give employee wellbeing a stronger role within your benefits strategy

How can we observe Trans Awareness Week 2024?

Trans Awareness Week leads up to Trans Day of Visibility and is an excellent time to amplify your efforts. Plan a series of events, such as panel discussions, film screenings, or fundraising activities for transgender rights organisations. It's also a prime time to review and communicate your company’s support mechanisms for transgender employees.

More than just one day

The International Transgender Day of Visibility is more than just a day; it's a reminder of the ongoing efforts needed to create truly inclusive workplaces. HR professionals play a crucial role in leading these efforts. By educating, engaging, and empowering our workforce, we can help foster an environment where every employee, regardless of their gender identity, feels valued and supported.

Let's use the UK Transgender Day of Visibility 2024 as a stepping stone towards greater understanding, acceptance, and celebration of diversity within our workplaces. Together, we can make a difference. 

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