This Pride month, we wanted to shine a spotlight on Trans and Non-Binary talent and of course all the amazing identities under these umbrellas. So we reached out to our good friend Victoria Oldman (she/her) who is a consultant for TransmissionPR, as well as director and co-organiser of Trans Pride Hastings, taking place this year between the 22nd – 29th July. Chris + Victoria spoke together on the main stage at Ideasfest 2022 on how Business has a vital role to play in the fight for trans inclusion, so this was a natural progression to that conversation.
In an effort to both educate y'all on the subject matter and show how easy it is to support trans people that aren't on your payroll, it's worth noting Victoria is being paid for her words here - the exact same rate as we pay our brand consultant to be precise too! We hope you enjoy the blog below on Why you should hire trans + non-binary talent, and how to get it right.
So, you’ve just realised there’s a huge community out there of incredible trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming folk that desperately want to work for you…
No? Well, you should have, because very easily there could be - and if not you, then certainly someone else, and you wouldn’t want to miss out, would you?
Let’s take this opportunity then, to check out some of the reasons why you should be putting the effort in to hire from this community, and how to go about it in a way that benefits everyone.
Trans and non-binary folk are out there fighting for you.
The TNB (trans and non-binary) community is full of incredible freelancers, with expertise and experience as diverse as the community itself. In an environment so often hostile, where one in three employers in the UK say they are less likely to hire a trans person, they are out there creating, building, editing, writing, developing and so on… like no other. A community so used to fighting to be seen and heard, is literally over-flowing with independent creativity and excellence right under your nose.
Reach for them and give them your business. They want you to and if you follow this advice, odds are they will want you too!
You can also look at redefining your recruitment experience to support Trans + Non-Binary candidates, just like Lightning talked to Nokia about.
Trans + non-binary people often break the mould and make fierce brand ambassadors.
With awareness levels at an all-time high, and modern consumers increasingly holding companies to account for their actions, trans and non-binary inclusion represents the perfect opportunity for organisations and brands to demonstrate their commitment to equality, whilst sending a powerful signal to stakeholders and consumers alike that they care about doing what is right.
Though support is essential, it’s important to not take on or platform members of a vulnerable group without ensuring the necessary safeguarding is in place, and it is on you to provide that. Don’t rely on your newly appointed trans and non-binary staff to do everything for you when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace - centre their voice, rather than lean on it. Let them do what you hired them to do. If in doubt get expert input, it’s out there.
Oh and be sure that you have an ED&I Strategy in place, that's the first step here to commiting to a safe and inclusive culture at your organisation.
And if you receive backlash from a loud minority, or have placed a trans or non-binary person in the spotlight and are receiving hate, similar to what we saw with Dylan Mulvaney and Bud Light this year - don’t be afraid to get in front of them. To stand your ground and protect your staff, partner or ambassador. You’ll do more than just shield them. You’ll show your commitment and authenticity, even in the face of opposition – and that really is something to be proud of.
Our official PR partner, Transmission PR, did an incredible case study on lessons brands can learn from not so smooth responses to attacks on the community here.
Doing so (and doing it right) will have a huge impact.
According to a YouGov survey in 2021, 51% of trans people considered company culture to be an important factor when considering a new role, and 31% wanting to know if there are trans-specific policies in place.
Look at your business and your existing systems to ensure you are ready to employ talent that is gender diverse. Take this opportunity to review policies and procedures, to become more inclusive, more robust, more appealing and ultimately… better.
Remember, you may have already hired someone trans or non-binary! It’s not just possible, but statistically probable they may not feel comfortable enough to share this information through fear of discrimination.
Develop a clear, trans-inclusive position and communicate that to employees - heck, communicate it to everyone. Embed trans inclusion in your outward comms strategy prominently and make your campaigns inclusive all year round, not just for one month in June.
Don’t expect to be able to hire from this excellent pool of people without first letting them know you’re offering them a safe place to be themselves, so inclusive language matters, and is a neccesary and easy step to take towards being trans+ inclusive.
They get results.
Not only will your trans and non-binary staff bring invaluable perspective and diversity to your company internally, but research shows that companies in which diversity is explicitly promoted and supported, experience better employee retention and satisfaction which then impacts productivity, and in-turn positively influences financial performance. It’s a no brainer.
With more people than ever identifying as LGBTQIA+, (1.4 million according to the office of National Statistics in the UK in 2020) you’re not only widening your pool of expertise but appealing to an increasingly larger audience at the same time. An audience that cares deeply about social issues.
It’s no surprise then that statistics taken from Community Marketing Inc and Harris Interactive show 55% of LGB consumers will specifically choose to do business with companies that are committed to diversity/equal treatment of the LGBT community, and 78% would switch to brands who are known to be LGBT+ friendly.
That’s you, right?
It’s the right thing to do.
Need we say more? Unemployment rates for trans people are significantly higher than that of cisgender folk without reason. It’s a huge issue. Even without all the positives we’ve already mentioned in this article, you should be looking to support this group – and there are plenty of ways to do so even if you’re not ready to take on trans and non-binary staff just yet.
For example, consider bringing in external educators from within the community to help prepare and improve your own inclusivity, to train staff, or to work alongside you on specific campaigns. Donate to trans and non-binary organisations and charities, lend your name and logo to events through sponsorship making clear you are an ally. Make it clear you are an ally!
There is literally nothing you can do that’s too small, and the impact of any allyship and advocacy you can provide will be felt by all.
And if that’s still not convinced you, let us leave you with this… it’s the law! Gender diversity is a protected characteristic, making it illegal to discriminate against someone because they are trans or non-binary - whether intentionally or not.
Lightning x Transmission PR are proud to offer CPD accredited trans inclusive training for organisations looking to educate themselves with company CEO's Aby Hawker and Chris King joining forces to educate up to 20 pax (either IRL or Online). We have various modules available, with our starter session deliverables being:
- To learn more about gender diversity
- To better understand WHY education is needed
- To build confidence around language when talking to trans+ people
- To understand how this applies to the workplace
- To help alleviate some of the fear
- To supercharge your allyship
We are able to create bespoke sessions around your needs, budget and knowledge with pre and post event consultation - just send us an email to set up a discovery call - email@example.com
In the meantime check out Chris (they/she) talking all things Importance of Allyship at last years Independent Hotel Show below: