Promoting Gender Inclusivity in the Workplace
By Zoey Krupiczowicz, Events & Promotions Coordinator, Spring 2021
Being a non-binary transgender woman in the world of higher education and the communications field comes with moments that are daunting. Thankfully, during my time at Loyola I have been welcomed with warm arms to express my gender identity in workplaces, classrooms and student organizations. We are currently in a time where people of all ages feel safe enough to express their gender have been important when it comes to working towards job security for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC individuals. Lately, I have been passionate about implementing more gender inclusivity in not only my professional life but my personal life as well. Figuring out where to start with promoting gender diversity can be tricky, but here are a few ways to start:
An easy way to incorporate gender inclusivity into your daily life can be as small as just stating your pronouns when meeting someone new. Zoom meetings are the perfect place to practice this. At your next meeting, I challenge you to encourage everyone to include their pronouns in their Zoom name! It takes no time at all, and BOOM you are already on your way to making the space more inclusive for non-binary and transgender people who may be present.
A lot of people can feel really embarrassed if they get someone’s pronouns wrong when addressing them. This is something that I am not a stranger to since coming out and it is always a situation that is much more awkward than it needs to be. If you accidentally misgender someone in a professional environment, constantly apologizing and saying “it will never happen again” is only putting more stress on the person who was already misgendered. A great way to get through this situation is to quickly say sorry, correct yourself out loud and then move on with your day.
I and trans people all over the world get questions and statements like “So what surgeries are you planning on getting,” “Are you getting THE surgery,” “When did you decide to be trans?” or even “All these new pronouns are just way too complicated for me to use.” Hearing things like this can be a bit discouraging for trans people, so a good thing to keep in mind when interacting with someone that is trans is that they are a human just like you. They aren’t some suspect that needs to be questioned by you about their entire life. I also encourage all of you that if you see questions or statements like those above in public to do your part and just let someone know that it is rude to strip down a person’s identity to what genitalia they have or how they choose to present.
Overall, trans and non-binary people want to go on with our lives and be treated like everyone else. Starting the spread of gender-inclusive actions in your daily life contributes heavily to the normalization of trans and non-binary people in positions of power in the professional world. It is easy to start, and I challenge anyone reading this to incorporate one act of gender inclusivity in your work or classes at least once this week!
As students who are soon going to be joining the communications industry, it is going to be up to us to show our executives how important and effective promoting gender inclusiveness can be. We collectively must advocate for all things diversity, equity and inclusion if we truly want to see a change in the industry.