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CIPD Releases Guide for Transgender and Non-Binary Inclusion at Work

James Robb


Minute Read

27 Sept 2023

In an effort to advance equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the workplace, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has recently published a comprehensive "Transgender and Non-Binary Inclusion at Work Guide."

The guide aims to provide invaluable advice to HR professionals, employers, and managers, enabling them to enhance their understanding of transgender and non-binary issues and create environments that are respectful, inclusive, and empowering for all.

CIPD's research reveals that LGBTQIA+ employees, particularly transgender workers, are more likely to experience conflict and harassment compared to their heterosexual, cisgender (meaning a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex) colleagues. Shockingly, 55% of transgender employees report experiencing such conflicts, versus 29% of their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts. Moreover, a significant proportion of LGB+ workers (16%) feel psychologically unsafe at work, with transgender employees experiencing even higher rates at 18%.

The CIPD guide underscores that initiatives to promote EDI for protected characteristic groups are advantageous for the entire workforce. It emphasises that creating an inclusive workplace transcends being a mere compliance requirement; it is a strategic imperative for organisations looking to foster an environment that values diversity and promotes positive employee experiences.

However, it accepts that achieving transgender and non-binary equality in the workplace is not without its challenges. The guide acknowledges the complexity of these issues, which can sometimes lead to polarising viewpoints, including gender-critical beliefs. Balancing and managing these diverse perspectives is crucial to fostering a harmonious and inclusive workplace.

Key takeaways from the guide's recommendations:

  • Transgender and non-binary inclusion should be an integral part of an organisation's broader EDI strategy, aligned with its business plan.

  • Organisations should take the time to consult and discuss these issues both internally and externally.

  • Emphasis should be on finding solutions and harnessing the benefits of transgender and non-binary EDI, rather than dwelling on problems.

  • Active participation in EDI efforts should be encouraged across all levels, from senior leaders to frontline staff and third parties.

  • Businesses should thoroughly examine the entire employee lifecycle, from recruitment right the way through to exit interviews.

  • Developing a clear set of organisational values, training approaches, and policies is essential for fostering inclusivity.

  • Inclusivity efforts should be consistently practiced in the workplace, making them a part of daily operations.

The guide is designed to be versatile, allowing readers to explore relevant sections based on their job roles and responsibilities. Throughout the document, readers will find examples of best practices and recommended actions to facilitate implementation. Interestingly, the guide also features comprehensive guidance on key terminology and inclusive language - something that will no doubt be especially useful amongst employers who are in the early stages of developing an EDI strategy.

CIPD's Transgender and Non-Binary Inclusion at Work Guide represents a significant step toward building more inclusive workplaces. By offering practical advice and insights, this guide equips organisations with the tools to foster environments where transgender and non-binary individuals are respected, included, and empowered to be their authentic selves.

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