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March 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility

The Importance of International Transgender Day of Visibility in the Canadian Workplace

The Importance of the International Transgender Day of Visibility in the Canadian Workplace

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging have become the cornerstones of organizational culture in recent years. A diverse and inclusive workplace fosters greater innovation, improves employee morale, and helps to attract and retain top talent in the market. With the International Transgender Day of Visibility quickly approaching, it's time we start paying attention to transgender individuals in our workplaces. The celebration of this day is largely centered around recognizing the contributions and obstacles faced by transgender people across the world. In this blog post, we will be exploring the significance of the International Transgender Day of Visibility and what role Canadian workplaces have in ensuring inclusivity for transgender individuals.

The International Transgender Day of Visibility is celebrated on the 31st of March each year. The day was first observed in 2009 and has since gained recognition across the world. Its aim is to raise awareness and celebrate transgender individuals who have been at the forefront of the fight against discrimination against marginalized communities. It's also a day to shed light on the discrimination, abuse, and violence that transgender people face in their daily lives. Around the world, transgender people have a higher mortality rate due to suicide and hate crimes. In fact, in 2020 alone, at least 350 transgender people were murdered globally. These sobering statistics reinforce the importance of celebrating the achievements of the trans community and creating safe and inclusive workplaces.

In Canada, legislation prohibits discrimination based on gender, gender identity, or expression. Despite this, transgender people continue to face significant bias and prejudice in the job market, healthcare, and society. According to the 2019 Canadian Community Health Survey, 63% of trans people had experienced discrimination in the previous year, and 21% had experienced harassment. These statistics indicate that Canadian workplaces have a long way to go in terms of inclusivity for transgender people. Employers have the responsibility to create environments that are supportive, inclusive, and safe for all employees, regardless of their gender identity or expression.

To make a workplace diverse and welcoming, you need to do more than just update policies or add LGBTQ+ training. It starts from the top by creating an organizational culture that fosters acceptance and equal treatment. This culture should be supported by allies and mutual trust between management and employees. HR managers and recruiters should also be trained on the importance of gender-inclusive language and ensure that their hiring practices are fair and non-discriminatory.

Providing resources, like access to healthcare, that meet the specific needs of transgender employees is another important part of making the workplace more inclusive. This may include access to gender-affirming hormone therapy or surgeries. Employers should take a comprehensive approach to benefit packages to ensure they don't exclude specific individuals based on their gender identity or expression.

On the International Transgender Day of Visibility, we can honour transgender people all over the world and celebrate what they have done. It's also a chance for workplaces in Canada to think about their diversity and inclusion programmes and make changes to make sure they meet the needs of transgender people. Creating a safe and inclusive workplace isn't only the right thing to do but also beneficial to organizations in the long run. It leads to more creativity, higher employee loyalty, and better performance. In honour of International Transgender Day of Visibility, let's commit to creating workplaces that celebrate diversity and promote inclusion for all.


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