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We are currently witnessing the increase of awareness about transgender issues in what Time Magazine (June 2014) has dubbed the "next civil rights frontier." In June 2017, Bill C-16 passed, which adds “gender identity and expression” to the protected groups of the Canadian Charter of Rights. As the political, social, and legal landscape improves, more transgender people feel comfortable to share their innermost truth regarding their gender identity within the workplace. Are you ready to support the transitioning employee as well as their co-workers and clients with this change?

Transition planning entails a complex set of interrelated factors that require sequenced coordination between an employee, their co-workers, and possible clients to smoothly and confidently transition their gender on the job. Through the use of transition guidelines, you can work with the transgender employee to consider how to best engage co-workers and possible clients.

For many, transgender issues in the workplace are new territory. Concepts of gender identity may feel overwhelming. The presenters bring an open and friendly approach to provide a session that aims to be highly interactive and engaging. In particular, through evocative icebreakers we begin by situating attendees within their own experiences of gender identity to demystify, clarify, and reduce the trepidation and hesitation typically associated with this topic. Participants will be introduced to concepts of gender identity as well as the unique challenges and barriers faced by transgender employees. The session will also summarize broad themes of best practices and lessons learned from TransFocus’ work supporting companies and their transitioning employees.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand key terms, such as gender identity, transgender, gender variant and transition.
  • How to respond and prepare for an employee approaching you with the intent to transition their gender in the workplace.
  • Identify keys areas where companies can ensure the workplace is inclusive to transgender employees and applicants.

Who should attend:

  • All HR Professionals

Meet your instructor

Drew Dennis

Drew Dennis is transgender and does not identify along the gender binary of man or woman, using the pronouns they/them. Drew’s education in business at Western University prepared them to become a leader in understanding social impacts within the context of organizational bottom lines. As the co-founder of Out in Schools, they led the development and design of creative and engaging LGBT curriculum for high schools across BC. Tides Canada named Out in Schools one of the Top 10 Organizations in 2011 to build innovative solutions to complex social issues. In 2014, along with Kai Scott, they co-chaired a Task Force that introduced transgender inclusion measures to the Vancouver Park Board. Building upon their collective experiences, in March 2016 Drew and Kai launched TransFocus Consulting providing transgender resources to policy makers, employers and leaders across diverse sectors. TransFocus has supported employee gender transitions within the workplace for several private sector companies and collaborated with the City of Vancouver to develop a comprehensive set of recommendations towards strengthening transgender inclusion across the city’s facilities, operations and services. 

Meet your instructor

Kai Scott

Kai is a social scientist who has devoted his 15-year career to solving complex social issues, especially related to vulnerable and resilient populations. He uses a blend of discovery and reflective approaches to bring greater understanding and clarity to issues of gender diversity.

Course Curriculum

    1. Webinar Recording

    2. PowerPoint

    1. Course Survey

About this course

  • 3 lessons
  • 1.5 hours of video content