Empathia, Inc. Publishes Article on Transgender Support in the Workplace in Employee Assistance Report

MILWAUKEE, Wis. / August 29, 2012 — National behavioral solutions firm Empathia, Inc. recently published an article in the Employee Assistance Report on how employers can support transgender employees at work. With about .5 percent of the U.S. population identifying themselves as transsexual, transgender issues may be a less common diversity issue than, say, ethnicity or gender; however when presented, it can be a sensitive topic to address. The article highlights how vague policies and lack of awareness can present a myriad of challenges to an employer including complaints, interpersonal conflicts, rumors, or claims of a hostile work environment, harassment or discrimination.

The article, written by Carolyn Ruck, manager of Empathia’s consulting team, highlights numerous facts regarding gender identity issues. Outlining the facts and dispelling incorrect beliefs is just one of the steps in creating an inclusive workplace culture.

Most employers simply don’t know how to assist an employee undergoing a gender transition. As an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) provider, Empathia has coached numerous employers on how to assist transgender employees in the workplace. In addition, they have provided coaching to managers and HR on everything from policies to providing educational options for leaders, managers and staff to better acquaint themselves with the realities of a gender transition.

These support mechanisms provide a win-win for everyone involved — the transitioning employee receives support, while coworkers and leaders get a better understanding of what gender transition is and is not. The process also provides guidance for setting appropriate behaviors and reactions within the workplace.

Organizations also stand to benefit from instituting respect in the workplace, as diversity can improve workplace culture and productivity. “Enhanced creativity and an increased willingness to share one’s ideas are common outputs of workgroup diversity,” said Ruck. “Positive energy becomes almost palpable among workgroups that embrace diversity.”

The full article is available at http://www.empathia.com/emailing/TransgenderArticle_EAR_August12.pdf.

About Empathia, Inc.
Empathia provides behavioral health solutions that improve the well-being, safety and productivity of organizations and individuals. The company collaborates with private and public sector entities from expansive Fortune 500 corporations to small businesses in addressing a diverse range of needs: employee assistance, disaster response and planning, work-life balance, employee relations, leadership development, training and benefits support. Founded in 1982 under the name NEAS, Empathia has distinguished itself as a quality leader dedicated to creating a superior customer experience for both client organizations and employees. For more information, visit www.empathia.com.

Media Contacts:
Carrie Reuter
Empathia, Inc.

Adriana Saldana
HRmarketer for Empathia