Tim Evershed reports on guidance recently issued by Lloyd's of London on the inclusion of transgender and non-binary staff
The modernisation of Lloyd's of London is continuing on a number of fronts. Business processes have been streamlined, technology has been embraced and definitions of acceptable behaviour have changed.
Now, the corporation has issued guidance to the employers and employees working within the market on the inclusion of transgender and non-binary staff.
The report notes that 30 years ago, many organisations felt there was no need to make special efforts to be trans/non-binary inclusive because they believed there were very few trans/non-binary people. However, just because they were not visible, did not mean they were not there.
The report estimates that about 4% of the workforce could identify as transgender or non-binary, but this proportion "could rise to 12% or even 20% in the next decade, as a new generation with new ideas comes into the workplace".
These numbers help create a compelling business case for taking a fresh look at how organisations manage trans/non-binary issues, both for employees and when doing business with clients and customers.
SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY
Marc McKenna-Coles, global diversity and inclusion manager at Lloyd's, says: "While the Lloyd's market is commonly conceived as being traditional in outlook and make-up, our research into the experiences of trans and non-binary people within this market allowed us to encounter a vigorous self-supporting trans and non-binary community already in existence in insurance, with its own networks and support groups, both informal and formal.
"Our approach has been not to deliver a big policy manual, because the point about a trans/non-binary individual is very often that they are individuals in every way.
Their journey and their approach are likely to be unique.
"So, while there are some legal and technical changes to be faced (along with a raft of confusing terminology and ever-evolving language) -- and we have tried to provide you with a clear path through these -- the overall message of this guide is: be flexible, listen hard and provide your colleagues with allies who will support them all the way."
The Lloyd's report says that gender identity is a spectrum and everybody sits on this spectrum, whether they are binary (male/female) or non-binary (not exclusively male or exclusively female, or having no gender at all).
There will be some individuals in every organisation who will choose to remain non-visible, until they receive signs of inclusion that will allow them to let the organisation know they
"Making your organisation trans/non-binary inclusive is going to motivate trans/non-binary employees, both visible and non-visible," says the Lloyd's report. "What would it be like if a significant minority of your workforce were suddenly much more contented, productive and happy?"
The report also reminds employers that recruiting employees from diverse backgrounds and including them in product development will result in the creation of a variety of products and ideas, rather than the "predictable norms that you get from a team of people with the same backgrounds".
It quotes a McKinsey research report, Delivering Through Diversity, which found in 2018 that companies in the top quartile for diversity were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability than those in the bottom quartile.
The Lloyd's report states: "Many of your clients and customers are getting this right -- it is a responsibility for this market to ensure that we match our clients and do business in a way that makes us an equal partner, if not a leader in our culture and employee policies."
Vanessa Newbury, head of recruitment and employer brand at Hiscox, states in the report: "Organisations really don't have a choice when it comes to supporting employees going through life-changing experiences.
"It is really important to retain great people and you do this by making sure they can bring their whole selves to work and thrive. This reflects one of our core company values, which is about being 'human' -- having respect, looking out for people and being fair and inclusive."
The report also offers best practice on the role of the HR function, line managers, client-facing employees and other employees/contractors.
Suki Sandhu, CEO of diversity and inclusion consultancy Involve, adds: "It is fantastic to see Lloyd's of London proactively supporting and celebrating its trans and non-binary employees. Guides such as this are a huge step in the right direction for creating inclusive and diverse organisations and mean employees can be comfortable bringing their true selves to work.
"However, it does not stop there. We need to see other companies follow in Lloyd's of London's footsteps and introducing more inclusive policies. Diversity is good for business and if we really want to change the landscape of the workplace, we all have to work together and make it our mission to make all employees feel accepted and included."
The report recommends that market participants:
- Strip back unnecessary 'gendered' language
- Consider whether recruitment processes are gender neutral
- Provide all-gender facilities, such as toilets
- Create an LGBTQ+ or ally network
- Develop visible trans/non-binary role models
- Consider how gender is represented on application forms
- Support trans/non-binary employees from the top of the organisation
Tim Evershed is a freelance journalist