Being a part of the TransWorks training was a really empowering experience. Being able to sit with fellow leaders as we were taught professional development skills that aren’t already implemented in our orientations or leadership development was refreshing. Kate was able to give us great tools, resources and feedback on some of the tougher questions when it comes to gender identity in the work place. I appreciate this training and have recommended it to others working for Whole Foods and other businesses in hopes that others will benefit in the way we have here at Whole Foods Lakeview. ~TransWorks training participant

PositiveLeadershipTransgender community members experience double the rate of unemployment of the general population. This is largely due to stigma and bias on the part of employers. Lack of access to safe, stable employment has a ripple effect in the lives of transgender people, curtailing access to other basic needs such as housing, education, medical care, and adequate nutrition.

The TransWorks Program at Chicago House offers direct support for transgender and gender non-conforming participants who are seeking employment. Because we recognize the systemic nature of anti-trans discrimination in employment, we also offer employer trainings for local businesses and non-profits, with the goal of creating a network of trans-inclusive and affirming workplaces that are prepared not only to hire but to nurture trans and gender non-conforming employees.

Local businesses have a crucial role to play in creating communities that are truly safe and affirming for transgender people. This starts with knowing the laws in your state, county, and city that protect employees on the basis of gender identity, but this is only the beginning. Do you know what these protections look like in practice? Do you know what types of language and questions constitute illegal harassment? Investing in trans competency training for your staff ensures that employees at all levels are prepared to welcome and support transgender team members, creating a workplace that is safer and more productive for all employees.

To learn more about TransWorks training for your office or organization, contact Kate at 773.248.5200 ext 108 or kharrington@chicagohouse.org.