A study, conducted by TotalJobs, revealed that 60 per cent of trans employees have experienced discrimination in their careers.
The data, released in 2016, highlighted how transphobic discrimination is most likely to come from colleagues (38 per cent) and then from management (25 per cent).
The survey also showed that one third (36 per cent) of trans people will choose to leave a job due to an unwelcoming environment. While more than one quarter (29 per cent) have faced discrimination as early as the interview stage.
Rebecca Root, a professional that works with trans clients, says the data is a sign for greater advocacy and trans inclusivity in the workplace.
“Even with the advances made in recent years in changing societal perceptions of the trans community, these figures clearly indicate there is still a way to go in diminishing transphobia in the workplace. The quest for making such spaces safe for trans people must continue,” Root said, in a statement.
The TotalJobs survey highlights how workplace discrimination is enabled by a lack of support from employers.
Data shows that 21 per cent of employees said that there was no provision for trans people at their workplace. A further 24 per cent have claimed to not have received support or guidance from their HR departments when transitioning.
Filmmaker and trans activist Filmmaker and trans activist commented on the difficulties one can face as a trans employee: “Staying in or seeking employment can be a potential nightmare when you’re trans. Many employers are unaware of our rights and we are often at a vulnerable stage of our transition. The irony is that so many trans people I know are extremely clever and willing to work.”
Fisher added: “I was lucky that my employer was very supportive, although there was an adjustment phase which was difficult for everyone, including my new name, pronouns and getting used to my changes.”
More than 50 per cent of trans people have felt the need to hide their trans status from colleagues at some point during their careers.
Labour politician, Emily Brothers, agrees that workplace environments must become more accepting of trans identities.
“Too often the focus is on our transition, not how tough it is to get on with our lives with high levels of discrimination, not least in the labour market.
“Much needs to be done to better apply equality legislation and develop guidance and training for managers and their businesses. Gender identity is the new frontier of equality, which means many people still don’t understand or accept us.”
Miss Brothers added: “There is a lot of support out there. I certainly found transitioning at work some years ago less daunting than I feared, even though it was undoubtedly a very challenging experience.
“More needs to be done to (assist) employers, especially in supporting staff going through transition. That’s why I believe that some form of Statutory Leave would be supportive to trans people, helping them to retain their jobs and through a smoother transition pathway.”
A Totaljobs spokesperson, Martin Hofschroer, also provided a press statement on the data: “We hope that the findings of this report will support greater awareness of employment issues for trans workers and enable trans people to feel that their voices have been hear.”
If you have been affected by this story, below are some useful resources to consult:
Stonewall charity offers a free helpline for the LGBTQ+ community and allies.
The Gender Trust supports anyone affected by gender identity issues across the UK
Mermaids is a charity that offers information and education to gender diverse and trans children.