Everyone can benefit from Lloyd’s of London’s new trans and non-binary inclusion guide
By Jo Faragher on 20 December 2019
The insurance market Lloyd’s of London has attracted a lot of criticism in recent months – there have been numerous reports of sexual harassment and the organisation even had to issue guidelines to its staff on how to behave appropriately during this year’s Christmas party season.
So it might be the last organisation you’d expect to be on the front-foot when it comes to supporting trans rights at work. Yet earlier this month, it issued detailed guidance to the insurance firms who operate at Lloyd’s and their employees on how they can be more inclusive of transgender and non-binary employees.
Lloyd’s report estimates that around 4% of the workforce at the market could identify as transgender or non-binary, but this proportion “could rise to 12% or even 20% in the next decade, as a new generation, with new ideas comes into the workplace”. It adds that there is a “vigorous self-supporting trans and non-binary community already in existence in insurance”.
The advice provided in the report would work for any employer, and Lloyd’s worked closely with Rachel Reese and Emma Cusdin, founders of trans advisory organisation Global Butterflies on getting the content right. The guide includes case studies from trans employees of insurance companies in the market. Some of the practical suggestions include:
- stripping back unnecessary “gendered” language
- considering whether recruitment processes are gender neutral
- providing all gender facilities, such as toilets
- creating an LGBTQ+ or ally network
- developing visible trans/non-binary role models
- considering how gender is represented on application forms
- support for trans/non-binary employees from the top of the organisation
It also offers resources to help organisations unpack the complex issues around gender issues, explaining the difference between biological sex and someone’s gender identity with the words “if your body is your hardware, this [gender identity] is your software”. There’s a free explanatory graphic known as ‘The Genderbread Person”, which explores the interplay between gender identity, sexuality, gender expression and biological sex.
As well as offering an organisational approach to supporting trans employees, there is specific advice for line managers, front-line teams and HR. The guide prompts people in these roles to ask themselves questions such as:
- what do trans or non-binary customers see when they walk into the organisation?
- Are client-facing colleagues trained in respectful communication (eg. in call centres)
- Are other colleagues and contractors aware of your trans/non-binary inclusion strategy? If not, how can you raise awareness?
- Do you have trans expression guides and policies? These can be found online
The role of HR is crucial, it adds, because they are the “nucleus of any organisation” and will be responsible for respectful trans/non-binary recruitment, inclusive advertising and application forms, choosing respectful recruitment partners and confidentiality when a trans/non-binary employee wishes to discuss aspects of their gender identity. “If these are done correctly, this will pervade positively throughout your whole organisation,” it says. To avoid confusion over misgendering, the guide suggests: “It is much simpler to refer to someone as Hilary, than ‘she’ or ‘he,’ and this can avoid worries over misgendering.” Managers can demonstrate their commitment to inclusion by personally taking action, such as adding their pronouns to their email signatures, it adds.
But while these practical suggestions will be useful for employers, promoting a more inclusive and tolerant environment more generally will help trans and non-binary employees feel more comfortable. Anthony Fitzpatrick, Employee Relations & Global Employment Policy Lead, Aviva, states that “for us, the policy helps us to create the right culture”. “It says ‘you can bring your whole self to work’, which helps employees to become more engaged, to perform better and improves morale widely. The workforce dynamic is changing, even in the wholesale [insurance] market.” When the company recently changed its trans inclusion policies, it worked with the Aviva Pride employee network and trade unions to check the language, feeling that “the old document was too dry, and did not help to break down barriers”. The new suite of documents includes guidelines for leaders, the policy itself, guidelines for employees and colleagues, guidelines for HR and a terminology document.
Rachel Reese and Emma Cusdin from Global Butterflies urge employers in the market to make positive changes with teams, colleagues and clients. “As employers you can make a difference to the trans/non-binary community, which face multiple challenges, both inside and outside the workplace,” With this in mind, we call on you to become active in your support of trans and non-binary employees. If you want to do just that, we hope that this guide will give you some practical ways to start,” they say. The guide can be downloaded here.
d&i Leaders LGBT+ at Work Conference
February 27, London
Join 150 confirmed attendees at this annual event which features Emma Cusdin talking about the future for LGBT+ equality and inclusion and building an LGBT+ strategy from scratch. This unique event designed for HR, diversity and inclusion professionals, explores how to create and maintain an LGBT+ inclusive workplace. Click here for details.
d&i Leaders Equality Law at Work Conference
March 31, London
Why not attend our new one day conference where speaker Rachel Reese explores ‘UK Legal Protections for trans/non-binary people in the workplace’. This unique event designed for HR, diversity and inclusion professionals, explores the practical implementation of employment equality law in the UK. Click here for details.
d&i Leaders is a global community of senior diversity, inclusion and HR focused professionals, looking to collaborate, network and accelerate their workplace inclusion strategy.