A shocking new survey has found that employers have expressed that they would be less likely to hire transgender staff in their workplace.
The report, which was conducted by Crossland Employment Solicitors, found out the attitudes towards transgender workers of employers at 1000 workplaces across the UK.
Revealing a strong prejudice, 1 in 3 employers admitted they are ‘less likely’ to hire a transgender person whilst nearly half (43%) were unsure if they would recruit a transgender worker. The findings come as the Equality and Human Rights Commission recently called upon government to act on transgender discrimination, whilst recent reports by Stonewall also revealed how half of transgender workers hide their identity at work for fear of discrimination.
The report also identified the sectors least likely to employ transgender staff, with the retail sector having the highest percentage at 47%. The IT industry (45%) came a close second, followed by leisure and hospitality (35%) and manufacturing (35%). On the other side of the scale, the financial services industry was most open to the idea of hiring transgender staff with 34% of employers saying they agreed with the idea. The legal (33%) and construction and engineering (25%) sectors also agreed.
Just 3% of the 1000 employers polled have an equal opportunities policy that openly welcomes transgender people to apply for jobs. Out of the third of employers that would consider hiring a transgender person, just 8% think they should have the same rights to be hired for a job as everyone else. Only 4% declared their workplace culture was diverse enough for transgender people to ‘fit in’.
The MD of Crossland Employment Solicitors, Beverley Sunderland, said:
What’s most worrying is the high percentage of employers that are biased against transgender workers from the recruitment stage and beyond. And not just in one sector, but a prejudiced attitude that is found throughout both shop floor and management, in particular in the retail and tech sectors. Whether this reflects a lack of understanding or simply a fear of a potential discrimination claim, is not evident.
Sunderland believes that the law needs to be changed to protect the wider transgender community, including those going through gender reassignment and those who identify as non-binary, adding that “if we’re to encourage businesses to build a trans-inclusive workplace then we need the backing of the law together with greater support for employers to help understand the issues around transgender workers in the workplace.”
She concluded that “a business where everyone feels welcome and valued is by far a more productive one.”