National Federation of Builders commercial director Danny Clarke says construction firms should become consciously “trans-inclusive”. He says companies should establish policies to protect any employee who chooses to follow different gender norms than those typically expected of their birth sex.
“Many workplaces will operate under general anti-harassment and bullying policies, but it may be worth creating a separate, trans-inclusive policy (or potentially extending your equality and diversity policy, if applicable),” Clarke writes in a post for The Construction Industry Council’s website. “This policy should specifically focus on transgender people and act as guidance for employees about what is acceptable in the workplace.”
He says: “Contracts, policies and other workplace documents should be gender inclusive and use gender neutral terminology. Ensure the correct pronouns and names are used for trans employees and include gender-neutral options in all forms, software and processes used within the organization.”
His post concludes: “Equality and gender identity training should be provided to staff, with priority given to line managers and staff involved in recruitment – for example staff involved in recruitment have an awareness of how to respond to disclosure of a candidate’s gender identity in an interview or legal protection involved?
“In addition, communication should be primarily encouraged, so that trans employees know that any issues they may have will be resolved with respect and sensitivity.
“Being a vocal supporter of the LGBTQIA community (and the support you offer your own employees) on social media, for example, should not be performative. If your awareness and support campaigns are not followed by measurable action, trans people, as well as other employees, are likely to see this as disingenuous, rather than genuine activism.
“If you want employees to feel comfortable in the workplace, the best way to encourage them is by practicing these behaviors themselves. For example, encouraging introductions of pronouns, and including them in email signatures and other business-related profiles. This kind of approach will make employees feel more comfortable and open to sharing their own experiences without fear of reprisal.
“Remember, the potential risk of backlash for a cisgender person sharing their pronouns and encouraging the use/introduction of pronouns will be minimal, but this will pay off massively in creating an open, inclusive company culture.”