Celebrating Trans Day of Visibility

By Michael Gill, Care and Support Service Manager and Co-chair of our LGBT staff network

At Riverside we truly champion diversity and inclusion. As Co-chair of Spectrum, the LGBT staff group I believe I have particular focus – to create the fairest and most welcoming environment for our LGBT colleagues from start to finish. That, in turn, allows them to provide an excellent customer experience.

Within Spectrum, we have a lot of diversity and International Transgender Day of Visibility is celebrating one part of that diverse spectrum, shining the spotlight on the successes and challenges faced by trans people around the world.

International Transgender Day of Visibility also gives us a great opportunity to provide visibility and support to our trans colleagues, customers, friends or family who are, have or are about to transition so they can be more comfortable in coming out.

Stonewall’s LGBT in Britain study spoke to 3,213 employed LGBT people about their experiences of discrimination in the workplace. It revealed that:

  • one in eight trans people (12%) have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year because of being trans
  • Almost a third of non-binary (31%) and one in five trans people (18%) don’t feel able to wear work attire representing their gender expression.

For these reasons, and many more, it’s clear to see why we need to raise awareness of the difficulties trans people face every day.

At Riverside we have achieved a lot over the past year. We have progressed our Transitioning at Work policy and delivered LGBT Role modelling training and trans allies training in partnership with Stonewall, as well as providing an organisational and individual response to the government Gender Recognition Act consultation.

Despite these achievements we still have work to do, both as an LGBT staff network and as an organisation. We have a clear direction of travel, with actions based on feedback from Stonewall on how with can improve the experience of trans colleagues or attract trans people to Riverside. This work includes prioritising how we begin to separate sexual orientation from gender identity.

Trans people face unique challenges and discrimination and we are committed to eliminating them at Riverside whether they are conscious or unconscious biases so everyone can be their authentic selves at work.