Although most people are at least aware of the existence of transgender men and women, nonbinary people have yet to attain the same level of visibility and understanding. Nonbinary is an umbrella term for many people who are neither male nor female, and the needs of members of this community are slightly different than those of binary trans people (men and women), as they face distinct social challenges.
While transgender people are starting to become more visible in public life, there is a severe lack of information in the general public about how to treat transgender people, who are particularly relevant in the tech industry, because withdrawing socially and developing computer skills is a very common path for transgender kids. While this document will not be exhaustive, it’s a starting point to treating transgender employees with respect.
When growing teams, strong companies want to find the best candidate for the job and support that person to be as successful as possible. Some roles explicitly require specific physical capabilities, such as the ability to reliably lift 40 pounds or a high level of visual acuity. Excluding these situations, the workplace should include disabled employees alongside nondisabled counterparts, as impairments rarely have an effect on someone’s ability to fulfill the needs of a job role.
The workplace brings together people of different backgrounds and experiences, all working towards shared goals. An inclusive workplace makes the most of these different backgrounds and experiences to create a safe and productive space to succeed together. Religious beliefs and practices are important in most people's lives, and how a company accommodates these goes beyond the annual holiday calendar.
Supporting caregivers in the workforce, is one key to attracting and keeping skilled workers. For example, in many cases, families require two incomes to subsist, meaning both parents in a two-parent household are in the workforce. For single parents, all care and financial responsibilities fall on their shoulders, placing demands on their time and emotional resources. Other caregivers may be responsible for disabled family members, including disabled adults, elderly parents, or dependents whom they care for part time. This can put caregivers in a difficult situation when dependents need their care and attention. Forcing them to choose between their caregiving needs and their career is an impossible and unreasonable expectation.
While legal standards in many developed nations have changed for the better, not all individuals are tolerant of LGBQA people. Intolerance and bias often surface in the workplace. It is the responsibility of leadership to ensure that all employees are treated with respect at all times, regardless of their gender or orientation.
Inclusive cultures are intentional. The CEO of Clef shared his experience building theirs.
Two women engineers started diversity efforts at Twilio from the bottom up, gaining the CEO’s active support in the progress.