Anticipating needs: Inter-company network makes recommendations on transgender and non-binary inclusion

By Colt’s Rachel Collins, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Nikolaos Koutrakis, VP Reward


This blog was updated on 22 February 2024:

I’m pleased to share that we have now published three bite-sized guides to help colleagues, managers and human resource teams support transgender employees. Each short guide offers useful information on how to create an inclusive atmosphere as well as five key actions to keep in mind when working with transgender people. All three guides are free to download.

Download the Transgender Inclusion guide for colleagues

Download the Transgender Inclusion Guide for managers

Download the Transgender Inclusion Guide for HR teams

Pride Matters in Tech is a group of LGBTQ+ employee networks in the technology sector that want to ensure that all voices are heard. Based on primary research, we formulated recommendations for businesses to encourage inclusion for transgender and non-binary people.

The group includes representatives from many tech businesses’ employee networks: Pride Matters from Colt Technology Services, PRIDE from ServiceNow, Oracle Pride Employee Network (OPEN) from Oracle, Rainbow Network from euNetworks, Pride Network from BT, Pride@CSG from CSG and Nokia’s Equal! network.

After a series of focus groups and roundtable meetings held during the summer of 2023, we found that transgender and non-binary people in the technology sector were experiencing reactive rather than proactive inclusion. Workplaces have the opportunity and responsibility to provide safe spaces; there are gaps in education for employees and structural systems that fail to accommodate them respectfully.

Transgender and non-binary people reported a range of microaggressions. It was common for them to be referred to by their dead name: the name they were assigned at birth that they had changed as part of their gender transition, and many systems like ID cards fail at supporting non-binary identities. Our focus groups found that having a supportive, allied line manager is invaluable in feeling welcome and included.

It was important to Pride Matters in Tech that we address these issues to satisfy the definition of inclusion: to anticipate diverse needs. Inclusion and support must be part of a framework that’s already in place before someone needs it, not just once someone requests it.

After listening to those with lived experience, the group is sharing 20 recommendations to promote inclusivity in the technology sector. These are grouped into “quick wins” and longer-term actions. These can be viewed in the six-page report that can be downloaded in full. The report has been published in time for Transgender Awareness Week: a nationwide participatory event to raise visibility for transgender people.

At Colt, we’ve been using pronouns on Microsoft Teams for a long time now, and schedule continuous allyship training and inclusive activities. We also have a Global Transition at Work policy in place to support those transitioning in the workplace. There is still more to do, but we believe that working with other organisations in our sector and supporting each other is the best way to drive sustainable change.

Download the report: Pride Roundtable recommendations

If you’d like to continue the conversation, you can connect with me and the Pride Matters in Tech network on LinkedIn and social channels.

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