Gender-fluid workplaces are fast becoming the new standard
Recently workplaces are opening up to the concepts of gender fluidity which indicates that a person’s gender identity is both open to change and malleable. It doesn’t follow the set limits of a gender binary identification. Changing laws around the globe are making it mandatory for organizational leaders to alter their work practices. Today we are going to share some common tips which can be followed by leaders for leading a gender-fluid workforce:
- Leaders need to ask their employees the name they use. This can be the first step towards being respectful to non-binary personnel. It can also be disrespectful to ask such a person about their previous name as that might bring back hurtful memories to that individual.
- We usually use ‘he’ for males and ‘she’ for females. But these set terms might not always reflect the gender identity of employees. If you are unsure about the pronouns used by an employee, then it is best to enquire about the same. While it might be awkward to ask people about their pronouns initially, it can be a great means of showing them respect in the long run. Using gender-neutral pronouns might require some time to get an adequate level of comfort. Leaders can practice using such pronouns in their free time. Despite practicing, mistakes are bound to happen and in such cases, the leaders should be open to corrections.
- While addressing a workforce comprising of gender-neutral employees, leaders should make use of greetings like folks, everyone, friends, or you all. This creates a sense of inclusion amongst all employees irrespective of their sexual preference. We have a habit of using gendered phrases but this might hurt the sentiments of a non-binary workforce. As a result, top management needs to be extra cautious when dealing with the same.
- The gender identity of non-binary individuals is invalidated now and then. You can take the example of gender-fluid personnel filling up onboarding documents offering only male and female as options. In the light of changing societal dynamics, it is becoming necessary for companies to update their existing policies for removing all gender-specific language.
- Often it is difficult to understand whether an employee is non-binary by simply looking at them. Rather than making assumptions, it is advisable to ask them about their preferred pronouns directly.
- The dress code of companies usually follows gendered guidelines. Both male and female categories of employees are suggested certain garments leaving the non-binary workforce confused regarding what they should wear to work. Companies need to re-evaluate such policies and understand that the purpose of a dress code is to ensure the functional dressing of their employees rather than enforcing gendered attire on the personnel.
- Offices usually have gendered facilities like locker rooms and restrooms which make it uncomfortable for non-binary personnel to fit in. They are forced to choose amongst the male or female options which do not conform to their sense of self. Such circumstances further add to the chances of the non-binary employees facing discrimination at the hands of their peers. Office management needs to take a proactive role and include gender-neutral restrooms and other facilities. In the case of single staff restrooms, they should be converted to all-gender facilities.
A growing population of millennials is identifying themselves as gender-nonconforming. This is making it imperative for organizations to create an inclusive environment offering adequate respect to different gender identities. Non-binary employees often face discrimination and this forces them to remain closeted at work. If you face any discrimination at the workplace then you can consult a gender discrimination lawyer in New Jersey.