News & Events

New on Allyship from Tony Foster!

By Tony Foster

Want to be a trans* ally? Be ProACTIVE!

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve already heard how important Allies are to the
trans* community; maybe you’ve been reading about trans* issues, or a friend has recently
come out or you have attended an event at work. The problem is, you’re not sure what to do
now… well, the answer is to be ProACTIVE.

Pro – use the right Pro​nouns
Gender is not driven by how you look, it’s all about how you feel. So if someone has
recently come out as trans*, then use the pronouns appropriate to their announced gender
when referring to them. This can feel strange at first, but don’t worry if you make a mistake –
apologise once and move on. They will appreciate your effort to get it right.
For non-binary people, it can feel even stranger, particularly if this is the first non-binary
person that you’ve (knowingly!) met. Most non-binary people use they/them/their, which can
sound odd as a singular when you’re not used to it – but if you look at the previous paragraph
carefully, you’ll see that it’s actually commonplace English! Even if they prefer other
pronouns (such as ze/zir, xe/xem/xyr or ve/vir/virs) then they won’t have just decided on
them on a whim, so respect their choice and remember that practice makes perfect.

A – check your A​ssumptions
Just because someone looks male or female to you, don’t assume that’s how they identify.
A quick question is all it takes: “Excuse me, which pronouns should I use for you?”

C – C​all out inappropriate language
If someone is getting it wrong, let them know! This doesn’t have to be right-there-and-then,
or confrontational – you could have a quiet word with them later

T – use the right T​erms
There are many different identities under the trans* umbrella; “trans*” itself is a safe choice
as an adjective (never a noun), though often trans* people will identify more specifically – for
example as “transgender”, “non-binary” or “genderfluid”. However, unlike with pronouns, it’s
not really polite to ask – but of course if someone openly identifies as something more
specific than trans*, then use that term for them yourself where appropriate.

I – I​ncrease your knowledge
There is so much diversity under the trans* umbrella that it can seem daunting at first. Start
with the basics – articles like this – and then keep learning steadily.

V – V​olunteer
Trans* groups are often looking for help – whether that’s the LGBT network in the office, or a
trans* charity. Ask and see!

E – E​ducate others
Now you know how to be a ProACTIVE trans* ally, share what you’ve learned and create

Photos from our 3rd birthday!

Thank you to all that attended our lovely 3rd birthday, hosted by Norton Rose Fulbright!

We had a fantastic night and everyone had some amazing canapes and cake!!

New Blog on trans inclusion from our director Owen Francis

The Trans Inclusion Agenda, and Why your Organisation Needs One

As we’ve just had our third birthday at Trans*formation, I’ve been reflecting on the amazing 3 years we’ve had so far, thinking about what inclusion really means for the trans community and what this means for business.
At Trans*formation we continue to see positive engagement from senior executives in business, taking responsibility to ensure that their workplaces are welcoming and inclusive of transgender and gender-variant employees.
But why is this important – and why should it be the task of businesses to create inclusive cultures for transgender people? Furthermore, what are the genuine business benefits for being a trans-inclusive organisation?
We’re still living in a world where the unemployment and poverty rate for transgender people remains at around three times higher than the UK national average.
Most transgender people who are employed report that they either changed jobs to allow for a break to transition, often through fear of facing potential discrimination.
Around 45% of transgender people report that they have experienced a step down in terms of professional seniority after having transitioned and returned to work.
Transgender people tend to experience higher rates of mental health issues than the general population, with over 41% of trans men and women estimated to have attempted suicide — a rate that’s nearly nine times as high as the rate of cisgender Americans.
Businesses and corporate organisations are gradually becoming more aware the influence they can have on some of these stark challenges that our community continues to face, and are working towards embedding trans-inclusive cultures in positive and action-oriented ways.
We see positive engagement and change in the work we do through Trans*formation every day, and I’m incredibly proud to be part of an organisation that works with businesses and sector-leaders alike who are committed to making the world a better place for trans people in the workplace.
But it’s not just transgender people who reap the benefits from workplace inclusion. I’m a firm believer that secure and paid employment is not just an obvious solution to paying the bills, but makes up a huge part of one’s overall sense of stability, purpose, normality and acceptance in society.
If organisations are therefore able to ensure that their policies, employment processes and workplace cultures are open and inclusive for transgender and gender-variant people, they will not only find that the depth of their diversity will increase but their organisation will be seen by others as authentically inclusive and not just tokenistic or detached from an action-oriented commitment to diversity.
In my day job I work in senior level executive search and selection and often our clients speak of the need for emotional intelligence, the ability to be critical, and the importance of ‘cognitive diversity’, i.e. recruiting those who think differently, and who are able to challenge groupthink and ingrained assumptions in the culture of an organisation. What better candidate to fit the bill than someone whose very life depends on the ability to challenge societal gender norms on a macro level?
Transgender people have been scrutinised, challenged, belittled, told we’re going through “phases and it’ll pass”, told we “don’t pass”, told we won’t ever really be, well, “real”. And despite all of these issues (that I know will resonate with every transgender or non-binary person reading this), I haven’t met one transgender person who isn’t a remarkable and resilient human being – not in spite of all of this, but because of it.
So what does a genuinely inclusive workplace look like for a transgender employee?
Understanding and empathetic senior management teams, who are educated on the key issues affecting transgender people. This is hugely important, particularly if an organisation has individuals who are expressing gender-variance or who are considering coming out.
Creating and maintaining positivity via utilising the corporate brand for positive influence. A good place to start is by ensuring your company brand is identifiable as trans-inclusive from a customer’s perspective. Engaging with and supporting events such as LGBT Pride and Trans Pride (and flying the flags accordingly) is a good way to send the message out.
Developing and championing employees as Trans Allies. Trans allies are integral to an organisation that wants to be seen as a safe space for transgender people to come out and be seen authentically by others, without having to be concerned about facing harassment, bullying or discrimination. At Trans*formation we are constantly creating new trans allies via our educational sessions – and we find this hugely rewarding!
Supportive and trans-friendly HR policies. If someone is in the process of transitioning in your organisation, it is important that your HR policies allow for a swift and hassle-free change of employee details and data contained on this person. Perhaps more importantly, it is essential that your senior HR leaders are educated and understand both the policy and processes.
Trans-inclusive health cover and private medical insurance. Believe it or not, most UK employer-provided health cover plans still exclude transgender people from their policies. With the help of Trans*formation, Lloyds Banking Group recently became one of the first UK corporate firms to offer health cover for transgender employees, putting them well on their way to setting the bar high for others and leading the trans-inclusion agenda. If you’re unsure, speak to us at Trans*formation about how your company can start working towards trans-inclusive health cover.
Knowledge sharing. If your organisation is fulfilling the above criteria, congratulations! In spreading the word of your achievements, this not only helps to set a new standard of diversity and inclusion for other organisations, but will also champion your organisation as authentically diverse and committed to including and developing transgender people at all levels.
A fair and trans-inclusive recruitment process. This means that candidates who disclose themselves to be transgender are treated fairly, and that hiring managers are educated and informed of how to deal with transgender candidates professionally. If your organisation is utilising executive search firms or recruitment providers ensure that your recruitment partners are informed and representative of the values of your organisation when speaking with transgender applicants – particularly over the telephone when most of us are quick to assume someone’s gender by their vocal pitch.
The past three years at Trans*formation has seen us work with over 40 different organisations, including large investment and retail banks, corporate firms, charities, recruitment firms and law firms, all to make the case for transgender inclusion.
Our mission is simple: to eradicate the discrimination of transgender people, to ensure that the levels of unemployment are equal to or better than the national average, and to create workplace environments where transgender people are valued for their authenticity and journey.
I became involved with Trans*formation in 2014 because of a realisation that there was a lack of professional networking and support for transgender people in business.
Three years later, and now that we’re much more than a pure professional networking organisation, covering legal reform, Corporate Healthcare, systems provision and a drive for hiring more trans people, we want to help business better engage with a trans-inclusion agenda of their own so do come and speak with us.

Owen Francis is an Executive Director of Trans*formation, and a Principle Researcher at Harvey Nash.

New informative article on the Gender Recognition Act – by Rachel Reese

The GRA is being discussed a lot recently, this article is a good overview.

Great article on how to think out side the toilet issues. by Emma Cusdin

Our founder Emma explores how employers can think outside the issue of toilets in regards to inclusive workplaces for trans* employees.



New Blog to check out from Emma Cusdin!

Jenny Fallover from GWN interviewed Emma Cusdin, co-founder of trans*formation to understand how it all started and what GWN members can do to help the organisation.

you can see it here

3rd Birthday Party

We are so excited for our birthday party tomorrow hosted by Norton Rose Fullbright!

If you haven’t yet booked your free ticket, please do here!

Come have a drink with us and hear what we’ve been up to and where we are going! We look forward to seeing you there.


Best wishes from the team at trans*formation