Wynne Nowland, CEO of Bradley & Parker has experienced being transgender from a young age. But had kept it hidden for years as it was not publicly discussed. At the age of 56, she decided to come out. She sent a company-wide email revealing her true self, requesting to be called Wynne, and her pronouns are She/Her.
According to Pew Research Center, only 1.6% of U.S. adults are openly transgender/nonbinary. Everyone wants to refer to them by their correct pronouns, such as he/him, she/her, they/them, and ze/hir, among others. Using the correct pronouns is a way to show respect and acceptance.
Gender identity is extremely important for transgender and nonbinary individuals. Employers taking the steps to correctly inform everyone is the first step. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Email should have their preferred pronouns. This allows others to easily know their pronouns as well as their preferred name.
Another way is to host events where transgender and nonbinary employees share their experiences and challenges. This creates a connection between the company and employees on topics they don't fully understand. This can lead to a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ employees.
Additional ideas to create a more inclusive environment are
Companies have policies for discrimination towards other employees. This provides protection for sex and gender identities for everyone. People teams/HR should get involved when someone deliberately misuses the wrong pronouns. People are not used to this, incorrect pronouns may occasionally happen. Fixing the error and correcting it in the future is the best way to approach this.
People teams should only get involved if employees are being hostile. Mistakes should be overlooked unless they start to occur more frequently after being fixed. Someone who is not willing to be respectful of another person's identity is when people teams need to step in.
Employee recognition is essential for every company. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are more engaged, productive, and motivated.
Onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into an organization and ensuring that they have the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools.