O2 today announces it has created a toolkit for employees and managers to support individuals who are going through or considering starting a gender transition journey. As part of O2’s commitment to promoting inclusion in the workplace, the resources ensure all managers are fully prepared to support transitioning employees as it continues to build an environment where all employees, regardless of their gender identity, feel comfortable coming to work and being themselves.
The toolkit, developed in partnership with LGBT+ charity Stonewall and with members from O2’s Proud employee network, offers advice for managers on issues such as confidentiality and privacy, in addition to more practical guidance, such as the correct use of pronouns. External resources are also signposted for managers who need further information, for example from O2’s Employee Assistance Helpline and Stonewall.
O2 is sharing the toolkit with its employees on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). The business will be marking the day with a series of educational activities – supported by the internal Proud (LGBT+) network, the BAME network and the Women’s network.
Jo Bertram, Chief Digital & Strategy Officer and Executive Committee Sponsor for Inclusion at O2, said:
“To prosper business must reflect society and, at O2, we are committed to enabling this by fostering a diverse and inclusive culture. Introducing a transitioning toolkit is the right thing to do for our people and builds on a series of progressive moves by O2 this year, including extending paid paternity leave for all couples regardless of their orientation. We know that doing the right thing by our people is critical to attract and retain top talent.”
Ilona Smith, Client Account Manager at Stonewall, said:
“We know half of trans people have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination, so it’s important businesses take steps to create accepting workplaces. Developing policies to support trans employees is a positive step towards creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels free to be themselves.”
Mark Leonard, Chair of Proud at O2, the company’s LGBT+ employee network, said: “Transitioning is a deeply personal experience so it’s important that HR teams and line managers are prepared to give colleagues the support they need. I’m grateful to Stonewall for their help in creating our transitioning toolkit and proud of O2 for being a leading progressive employer. In 2019 nobody should feel alone or unsupported at work.”
The move follows O2’s decision last month to increase the amount of paternity leave it offers from two to 14 weeks. The policy was introduced to ensure all partners have the support and flexibility to spend valuable time with their new family. The extended paternity policy covers heterosexual and same-sex couples, as well as adoptive and surrogate partners.