The management of diversity in the company in front of trans workers

The company's organizational culture constitutes a system of values and principles that the entity has established and is also directly influenced by its senior management, who determines its path. This culture manifests itself in practice when the decisions of the Human Resources area have a positive or negative effect insofar as they move closer to or farther from those values defined by the company and which are experienced by each employee.

This set of values represents an intangible that is difficult to measure but easy to appreciate and intuit. When referring to them, we do so based on respect for other people's differences, dignity, culture, customs, habits, and even sexual diversity.

At present, it is possible to gradually visualize a change in companies, by promoting diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunities in employment and occupation, under the international regulations approved and in force. This transformation, although slow, supposes commitment to the coherence between what is preached and what is done. In addition, it also implies respecting the rights of people, especially those of those who are a minority, such as trans workers.

The issue has been discussed for several decades and is therefore nothing new. An example of this is the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, in Case c-13/94, of April 30, 1996, on "equal treatment between men and women. Dismissal of a transsexual" and the sentence in Spain of the Supreme Court, Chamber 1, of July 2, 1987. In the private opinion of a magistrate, it is indicated that:

the term transsexual must be understood as expressive of an inconsistency between the psychic and organic and ultimately in a determination of his will consisting of the change of sex attributed by nature for which he intends to manage on the basis, apart from the effects of the surgical operation, of an invoked feminine way of conceiving her personality.

For the company, successfully managing diversity implies breaking the barriers and paradigms that its members may have regarding inclusion, mainly when they have been influenced by traditionalist schemes and find it uncomfortable to have a trans person on their work team.

It is there where the diversity management strategy should be promoted so that these structures are gradually eliminated, there is greater respect for the trans worker, and under no circumstances is discrimination based on sex at different times of the employment relationship, both in the recruitment and selection process, during the development of the employment contract and in its termination.

Companies, within their commitment to corporate social responsibility, can direct their efforts towards strengthening the rights of trans people, as well as approve a policy so that, during the recruitment and selection of a trans person aspiring to a job, a process is carried out in which all the necessary guarantees are established that allow the company to make objective and reasonable decisions in the selection, free of any stigmatization.

Likewise, during the development or execution of the contract, the policy must allow the company to support the trans person, which includes, among other aspects: providing psychological assistance, adjusting their job (if necessary) so that they can take advantage of all their personal and professional potential; respect the pronoun used to identify themselves, respect the change of name and be clear that the trans person should not be asked to change their legal name as a requirement to use their social name in the company; manage the change in their email, id and in any other material that mentions the legal name; promote meetings with the workers who interact the most with the trans person about the changes to be considered (the latter can decide whether or not they attend said meeting); carry out awareness workshops on gender identity to inform, reduce resistance and to promote a positive, inclusive and dignified environment.

Similarly, at the time of the termination of the employment contract by the company, it must ensure that there is always an objective reason that accompanies its decision, which should never obey discriminatory causes due to the reassignment of a sex other than that of birth.

The policy must guarantee trans workers the right to express their gender identity during their working life in the company, without risk of reprisals, so that they can develop fully in their work, especially during and after their transition period.

It is a challenge for companies to establish good practices and implement actions that make working life easier for trans workers so that they can live together in an environment free of any discrimination.

At Bufete Godínez y Asociados, we specialize in counseling and advising employers in labor and employment law. If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.


About the Autor

Isabel C. Jaramillo Arango

Isabel C. Jaramillo Arango

Coordinator of the Counseling and Advisory Area
Email: [email protected]
Phones +506 2289-5259 | +506 2282-2164 | +506 2289-5275
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