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For Employers

Consulting and Training

Today, there are thousands of members of our society who have changed their sex, and hundreds more are in the process of doing so. In the past, these persons were advised to quit their jobs and start over as members of the other sex. More and more, however, transsexuals are choosing to remain on the job while they transition from male to female or from female to male, a process that can take several years.

This poses new challenges for employers, who seek to maintain an amicable work environment, good relations with customers, and a high level of productivity, while providing support for the transitioning worker. Yet, there is little guidance available to help employers understand the phenomenon of transsexualism or develop a strategy for accommodating the transsexual employee.

Employers may be surprised to learn that they have a transsexual employee; these individuals may appear no different than their coworkers and are often motivated and hard-working. They can continue to make valuable contributions at work if they are supported in making the changes that are necessary for their healthy personal development. Employers have much to gain by hiring transsexual workers, by providing an atmosphere in which they can be open about their gender identity, and by assisting them through their process of self-realization.

Typically, employers have many questions regarding their transsexual employees:

  • Is he or she mentally ill?
  • What happens during transition and how long does it take?
  • Will my male employee come to work dressed like a drag queen?
  • When does he become a woman or she become a man?
  • What are my legal obligations toward my employee?
  • How is this different from transvestism?
  • How can I provide a non-hostile workplace?
  • What can I do to help coworkers adjust?
  • Is my employee legally a man or a woman?
  • Which bathroom should he or she use?
  • How will our clients react?
  • How can I make this transition easier for all of us?
  • When does surgery take place?
  • Will he or she need to take much time off?
  • Should my employee be transferred?
We can provide answers to your questions and help you formulate a plan for making your transsexual employee's transition as smooth as possible. We offer diversity training focused on transgender issues, alone or in conjunction with broader diversity training. We make presentations to EAP personnel, management teams, and coworkers to help them understand transsexualism, to offer guidance about management strategies, and to advise them about what to expect.

We draw upon the experience of other employers and transsexual employees who have successfully completed the transition process to resolve common issues. We interview your transsexual employee to discover what his or her particular needs are, and we identify the unique challenges and opportunities for creative problem resolution your workplace presents.

After assessing your needs, we design a program that will work satisfactorily for everyone. If necessary, we can also act as a liaison with the employee's therapist, with lawyers, and with the media, and we are available for follow-up consultation.

We offer a free 30-minute initial consultation. Please contact us for information regarding our fees for additional consultation and training.