Trans in the City director shares advice for employers on supporting trans and non-binary people

A person speaking in an office with trans Pride flag colours superimposed behind

The director of Trans in the City has shared vital advice for employers about how best to support trans and non-binary employees and their families at work, in the face of anti-trans hostility and rhetoric.

Emily Hamilton, a director with the awareness network that promotes transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse inclusion in business, urged companies to “stay the course” at the first PinkNews Business Community Live event on Monday (27 February).

In an urgent webinar, organised in the wake of the UK government’s decision to block Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform bill, and the murder of trans schoolgirl Brianna Ghey, Hamilton discussed ways that companies, and those working within them, can restate their commitment to safeguarding trans employers, customers and partners.

“We are part of one big community, and we mustn’t let people divide us”, declared Hamilton, in conversation with PinkNews’ head of corporate partnerships, Polly Shute.

PinkNews Business Community Live event logo next to a headshot of Trans in the City director Emily Hamilton
Emily Hamilton shared insights at the first PinkNews Business Community Live event. (Getty)

She went on: “Every company talks about its values – I’ve never seen a company that hasn’t got its values written down somewhere. Those values, I guarantee, will all be about treating people with respect.

“And do you know what? That’s all trans people are demanding.”

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Recognising that many LGBTQ-inclusive companies have “struggled with how to respond” to recent ever-changing events concerning trans lives, Hamilton urged LGBTQ+ network and equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) leaders to engage with senior management to ensure that allyship is coming from the top, both externally and internally.

“[Companies] need to be there to make sure [employees] can enjoy those private and personal lives,” Hamilton said. “That’s their job. It’s not to judge or mandate how that works, they are there to make sure [employees] are able to thrive.”

A person speaking in an office with trans Pride flag colours superimposed behind
Many workplaces are struggling to respond to fast-moving events concerning trans people. (Getty)

With research from The Trevor Project highlighting that an average of one in every four LGBTQ+ Gen Z person considers themselves non-binary, Hamilton and Shute also noted that standing firmly beside trans and non-binary people is as much about future-proofing a business as it about facing down prejudice in the present.

“Good humanity is good business. If you treat your people well, if you treat your customers and your suppliers well, you will see the bottom line increase,” Hamilton continued.

“If companies need that impetus, if they need something more that basic humanity of protecting trans people, the reality is there to be seen: the bottom line is always improved when you are an inclusive company.

“You won’t get anywhere by either being a silent bystander or by jumping on the bigoted bandwagon.”

PinkNews Business Community logo next to a women facing sideways
The PinkNews Business Community enables LGBTQ+ and ED&I leaders to share insights and network. (PinkNews)

With many companies fearful of ending up on the receiving end of hostility on social media, Hamilton, who is also vice-president of strategic change at FTSE100 company RS Group PLC, issued a reminder that while social media pile-ons “never stick around”, the impact of publically declaring solidarity with trans and non-binary people is a lasting one.

“These groups – the very vocal anti-trans groups – are small, they are very noisy and well-funded, but they don’t hang around for long because there aren’t enough of them to hang around for long,” Hamilton explained.

“Stay the course: the right thing to do is always the right thing to do… it’s about being on the right side of history as we move forward.”

Monday’s PinkNews Business Community Live comes ahead of a full-day virtual event on trans and non-binary inclusion that’s set to take place on 11 May. Tickets are due to go on sale next week.

PinkNews Trans+ Summit logo above a person holding a trans Pride flag
The PinkNews Trans+ Summit will take place on Thursday 11 May. (PinkNews)

The PinkNews Trans+ Summit will host panels of expert speakers from across the business, inclusion and not-for-profits sectors, to provide a comprehensive foundation level of education and understanding on how best to support and empower the trans and non-binary community in the workplace.  

Open to businesses of all sizes, charities and not-for-profits, the online event will feature educational workshops and inspirational panel discussions, carefully curated to educate and support change in the workplace, as well as live Q&As and plenty of networking opportunities throughout the day. 

Launched in October 2022, the PinkNews Business Community has fast established itself as a vital hub for ED&I and LGBTQ+ network leads across the UK, serving as an open and friendly forum to connect with like-minded professionals, build skills and share insights and best practice across a variety of sectors.

A man holding a glass at a PinkNews Business Community Event
The PinkNews Business Community brings together ED&I and LGBTQ_ network leads from organisations across the UK. (Paul Grace/PinkNews)

The PinkNews Business Community offers quarterly London-based, and soon-to-be regional, meetings that allow members to link up with other professionals committed to diversity and inclusion.

Monthly emails give members all the latest on ED&I best practice, key topics and links to business and career-related news.

Plus, the PinkNews Business Community offers access to the latest insights from the PinkNews research and audience insight hub, as well as key reports and research from our members.

Sign up here for the latest on the PinkNews Business Community and May’s Trans+ Summit now.

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