Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stonewall – “Changing for the Better”

New booklet on "How to include transgender people in your workplace – A guide for forward-thinking employers" [Download here]

Stonewall's relationship with trans people could best be described as having been a bit rocky of late. I'm not going to rake over the history – just google "stonewall protest" if you don't already know.

This week, however, Stonewall Scotland has published a really useful good practice guide as part of a move to incorporate transgender equality into their workplace programme.

"Changing for the Better" is a 34 page A5 booklet produced in conjunction with Scottish Transgender Alliance. It deals with:

  • the business case for welcoming and supporting trans employees in the workplace;
  • how to develop effective policies and procedures; and
  • ten straightforward steps to begin workplace trans inclusion.

Introducing the new guide Stonewall Scotland's Director, Calum Irving writes:

"Whilst almost all our campaigns are transgender inclusive, this guide marks our first steps towards incorporating transgender equality into our workplace programme, and builds on Diversity Champions Scotland, our good practice forum for employers on sexual orientation."

Scottish Transgender Alliance say on their website news

"The development of this new guide is an excellent example of partnership work"

The guide is intended as a practical resource for organisations specifically wanting to ensure their workplaces are supportive and inclusive of their trans staff. It outlines employers' legal obligations and examines the nature of anti-trans discrimination and harassment, and the impact this type of behaviour can have on individual staff members, the working environment and an organisation's external reputation.

The publication was based on existing in-depth UK and Scottish research into the workplace experiences of trans people, and also the ongoing joint policy and good practice work of the Scottish Transgender Alliance and Stonewall Scotland's Diversity Champions members.

In addition to the three major themed sections mentioned above, the guide also contains details of organisations where further guidance and support can be obtained, plus a handy glossary of terms as they are used and understood in Scotland.

Changing for the Better isn't the only guide of this type – others have been produced by Unions such as Unison and PCS – and more specialised information is available in certain sectors, such as guides published by the Department of Health. Nevertheless, this convenient-sized and highly readable booklet is a very helpful addition to the range of material available, and has a special significance – coming from an organisation which has developed a name in encouraging employers to strive for greater all-round LGBT inclusiveness.

Downloads or Ordering

The guide is available online in PDF format [Download here].

Printed copies can be ordered from Stonewall Scotland: 9 Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TE. Telephone +44 (0)131 557 3679. Email


Anonymous said...

I think equating Stonewall and Stonewall Scotland is misleading. They are really quite separate and operate differently.

Stonewall Scotland has a good reputation on trans issues. Stonewall (England) claims not to deal with trans issues, although sometimes the boundaries seem a bit blurred.

So well done to Stonewall Scotland. But this does not influence my view on the England based organisation.

Anonymous said...

As Polly says, this is Stonewall Scotland, which are a different beast to Stonewall England and so this blog post is misleading.

Stonewall England have no desire to work with trans issues which is perfectly fine, as we don't need them.

Stephen Whittle said...

Well I had always presumed this was a Stonewall Scotland booklet - but Ben Summerskill has written to me today saying "We are also keen to receive feedback on our recent publication ‘Changing for the Better'"

Stephen Whittle

Stephen Whittle said...

I ahd thought of Stonewall Scotland and and Stonewall as 2 seperate beasts. And I do think the folk in Stonewall Scotland also thought that. The head of Stonewall scotland is moving on though, and a new person has been appointed - not someone I know. But Ben Summerskill has just written to me today saying amongst other things "We are also keen to receive feedback on our recent publication ‘Changing for the Better’".

Christine Burns MBE said...

It's perhaps worth saying that it was Ben Summerskill who drew my attention to this publication when it first came out. He asked for my home address so he could send me a copy and, in the meantime, I tracked it down online, reviewed the PDF and posted this item, based on material in the booklet and on Stonewall Scotland's web site.

The headline for this piece was deliberately tongue in cheek, given the events that had taken place in the preceding autumn; however the body of the article is quite explicit that the publication is in the name of Stonewall Scotland and was a collaboration with others.

Personally I don't care who started it. The fact is that the Chief Exec of Stonewall was keen to draw attention to it as something worth sharing and using.