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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Out & Equal Town Call: Jamison Green

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, a nonprofit organization that champions safe and equitable workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, hosts a series of "Town Calls" on LGBT issues. On April 27, 2006, the Town Call was entitled "Transgender and Transsexual Workers: Issues for Management" featuring Jamison Green, Transgender Advocate and Consultant. The above link for the call features an audio .wav file of about 20 minutes and links to handouts. I enjoyed listening, and I thought you might as well.

Mr. Green, who is an excellent speaker, transitioned from female to male while working as a manager at Sun Microsystems, and has advised many leading corporations on workplace diversity topics. He is chairman of the board of Gender Education & Advocacy, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization, and on the boards of many other organizations addressing transgender issues. He will be presenting at the upcoming 2006 Out & Equal Conference (Chicago September 14-16). (I'll also be presenting there, but more on that later.) His website can be found at JamisonGreen.com

Here's what Mr. Green discussed during the call:

-Why transgender training is useful
-Defining transgender and transsexual
-First steps employers should take
-What to look for in a consultant
-The 7 steps to best practice

In the Q&A session that followed, these questions were discussed:
  • Where can I find templates for policy guidelines for transitioning employees:?
  • How have employers been dealing with crossdressing employees who do not intend to have sex reassignment surgery?
  • What are your words of advice for transgender employees who are about to transition on the job?
  • What do you recommend for companies that do not currently have regular diversity training?
  • What actions do you recommend to engage management in this issue?
  • How are service industries that involve a great deal of customer/guest interaction dealing with this issue?
  • What are the proper pronouns to use for transgender people?

After listening, I thought the main issues were handled well. I would have liked more discussion of specific policy tools for transition, such as criteria for bathroom usage, but then again, that might have taken another hour or two. Anyway, my presentation at the upcoming Out & Equal conference is on that subject: "Employer Policy Tools for Employee Gender Transition" (Thursday, September 14 at 3:30 p.m.), and then what would I have been left to talk about?

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