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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 14 April 2020

Joel Rudin, Tejinder Billing, Andrea Farro and Yang Yang

This study aims to test bigenderism, a universalistic theory that purports to explain why trans men employees enjoy greater organizational acceptance and superior economic…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to test bigenderism, a universalistic theory that purports to explain why trans men employees enjoy greater organizational acceptance and superior economic outcomes compared to trans women employees.

Design/methodology/approach

Respondents were presented with one of two case studies in which they had to choose whether or not to respect the right of a trans employee to use the restroom of their choice at work. The only difference between the two case studies was the gender of the trans employee. In one case, the employee was a trans man and in the other case, the employee was a trans woman.

Findings

The gender of the trans employee had no impact on the choices of the respondents.

Research limitations/implications

The chief research implication is that heightened discrimination against trans men may better be explained by situational theories of transphobia rather than the universalistic theory that was tested in this paper. The primary research limitation was the use of American undergraduate business students as respondents.

Practical implications

Organizations need to be especially vigilant in protecting the restroom rights of their transgender employees, which may entail eliminating gender-segregated restrooms.

Originality/value

This paper is original in that it uses an experimental design to test the theory of bigenderism. It adds value by encouraging experimental research that examines situational theories of transphobia.

Details

Organization Management Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1541-6518

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 August 2022

Caren Goldberg and Val Willham

Based on the job demands-resources (JD-R) model (Demerouti et al., 2001), the authors posited that concealment of one's transgender identity (a demand) would be negatively…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the job demands-resources (JD-R) model (Demerouti et al., 2001), the authors posited that concealment of one's transgender identity (a demand) would be negatively associated with work effort and commitment and that coworker support (a resource) would be positively related with those outcomes. In addition, the authors tested whether coworker support buffered the demand of maintaining secrecy as predicted by the JD-R model.

Design/methodology/approach

Relying on survey data from 89 transgender employees, the authors used Hayes' Process Model 1 to test the model.

Findings

Concealment was significantly related to both organizational commitment and work effort, but coworker support had no direct effect on either outcome. However, coworker support interacted with concealment, such that there were significant coworker support effects among trans employees who were out to none or some of their coworkers, but no significant effect among those who were out to all of their coworkers.

Originality/value

While prior studies have examined the importance of coworker support and outness, the authors add to the literature by examining the joint effect of these variables on transgender employees' work experiences. In addition, as prior research has been slow to examine behavioral work outcomes, the authors expand the criterion space by examining the simple and joint effects of outness and support on a previously ignored variable, work effort.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 April 2020

Ciarán McFadden

This paper discusses the factors to consider when designing studies to measure hiring discrimination against transgender job applicants.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper discusses the factors to consider when designing studies to measure hiring discrimination against transgender job applicants.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds on academic literature related to hiring discrimination and transgender employment to build a detailed discussion of the numerous factors and issues inherent in hiring discrimination against transgender job applicants. By isolating and describing a number of relevant considerations, the paper aims to act as a guide for future studies to build upon.

Findings

Three types of hiring discrimination studies are discussed: correspondence tests, in-person experiments and student cohort experiments. Three main categories of factors relevant to an experiment’s design are then discussed: the legal context, industry/role factors and transgender population-specific factors. A flow-chart detailing the research design decision-making process is provided.

Research limitations/implications

The discussion within this paper will act as a reference and a guide for researchers seeking to address the dearth of empirical studies in the literature. The list is not exhaustive; while a number of factors relevant to transgender-specific studies are identified, there may be more that could affect an experiment's design.

Originality/value

Hiring discrimination against transgender people has been recorded in many surveys, but there is little empirical measurement of this discrimination. To the author's knowledge, this paper is the first to examine the experimental design decisions related to transgender hiring discrimination. In doing so, it provides contributions for two primary audiences: those researching transgender employment issues but who have never conducted a study measuring hiring discrimination; and those who have previously conducted studies on hiring discrimination, but have not done so with reference to transgender job applicants.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Christin L. Munsch and C. Elizabeth Hirsh

Despite the absence of federal legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression, many companies have adopted such policies in recent…

Abstract

Despite the absence of federal legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression, many companies have adopted such policies in recent years. We examine the impact of several contextual factors thought to influence gender identity and expression nondiscrimination policy adoption among Fortune 500 firms from 1997 to 2007. Our findings suggest that city and state laws likely influence policy adoption, as do federal case rulings regarding gender nonconformity and the adoption of similar policies by companies in the same industry. We found little evidence that companies respond to state or city executive orders or to media coverage of gender identity issues in the workplace.

Details

Gender and Sexuality in the Workplace
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-371-2

Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Gender remains a politically charged and powerful ideological social identity dimension that categorically essentializes and reproduces opportunities and limitations in…

Abstract

Gender remains a politically charged and powerful ideological social identity dimension that categorically essentializes and reproduces opportunities and limitations in organizations. Addressed in Chapter 6 are assumptions about gender and ways that gender classifications and gender roles form and spill forth into both work and home life for an overlap of public and private spheres that disadvantage women and privilege men. Furthermore, femininity and masculinity constructs strengthen the power system that undergirds them, reinforces their meanings, and perpetuates behaviors, changing over time, across and within cultures, and over the life course.

In organizations, the glass ceiling metaphor has become a popular representation of inequality in the workplace for women, people of color and sexual minorities; a phenomenon expanded in recent years to include glass walls and glass cliffs to describe advancement barriers. Gender-neutral mindsets and blame-the-victim strategies found in organizations are examined, as well as the breadwinner role and intersectionalities of gender with social identity dimensions of age, ethnicity, and social class. Chapter 6 is divided into these subthemes: gender, roles, femininity, and masculinity; power and gender inequality at work, and effects on women; gender, parenting, and the second shift; the breadwinner role, hegemonic masculinity, and masculinity in crisis; gendered occupations and feminization of career fields; intersectionalities of gender with age, ethnicity, and social class; and shattering schemas with androgyny and transgenderism.

Details

International Perspectives on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-678-1

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 1 December 2010

Kim Gower and Barbara A. Ritter

This case describes the journey of Karson as he transitions from female to male. Throughout his life, Karson experiences a great deal of anxiety trying to reconcile his…

Abstract

This case describes the journey of Karson as he transitions from female to male. Throughout his life, Karson experiences a great deal of anxiety trying to reconcile his identity with the expectations of society. The anxiety inherent in this situation is described in order to get the reader to more fully empathize with the issues faced by transgender individuals. The case then focuses on issues specific to the workplace as Karson begins his career with a counseling agency and experiences several instances of discriminatory behavior.

Details

The CASE Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 1544-9106

Article
Publication date: 17 November 2014

Joel Rudin, Sinead Ruane, Linda Ross, Andrea Farro and Tejinder Billing

The purpose of this paper is to enhance the understanding of employers’ responses to the restroom requests of transgender employees, and to assess the ability as educators…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enhance the understanding of employers’ responses to the restroom requests of transgender employees, and to assess the ability as educators to reduce transphobia in the students.

Design/methodology/approach

Subjects were 194 undergraduate business students at a medium-sized public university in the northeastern USA who were enrolled in an undergraduate course in organizational behavior. During class, they read a brief case which asked the students to play the role of a CEO in Little Rock, Arkansas, receiving a complaint from a female employee about using the same restroom as a coworker who is transitioning from male to female.

Findings

The most inclusive response was also the rarest, with only 27 percent of students recommending unisex bathrooms. Hostile actions, forcing the transitioning employee to use the men's restroom, were recommended by 38 percent of those who correctly realized that an employee would be unprotected by sexual orientation discrimination law in this case and by 30 percent of those who thought that she could sue for that type of discrimination in that jurisdiction.

Research limitations/implications

It would be interesting to replicate this with non-student samples such as human resource managers and executives. The use of a US sample and of a text-based case can also be viewed as weaknesses. Because gender identity is embodied, self-constructed, and socially constructed, no single research study can capture the totality of work life for transgender employees.

Practical implications

Transphobia is so powerful that a substantial percentage of the students recommended courses of action that they believed to be illegal even though the study was designed to discourage a hostile response. Employers that are concerned about transgender rights will need to do a lot more than just grafting the word “transgender” onto their extant set of policies.

Social implications

Since today's business students are tomorrow's business leaders, the authors could eventually make the business world more tolerant if the authors could identify a message that resonates with the students and causes them to re-evaluate their homophobia and transphobia.

Originality/value

Empirical studies of transgender issues have been dominated by the qualitative approach, so there is a need for more quantitative research on this topic. The hostile responses usually indicated greater acceptance of transgender employees who have completed gender reassignment surgery. This seems difficult to reconcile with a conception of transphobia as a generalized distaste towards all those who transgress gender norms.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 August 2021

Elizabeth Goryunova, Anna K Schwartz and Elizabeth Fisher Turesky

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the workplace experiences and access to career-enhancing opportunities of transgender employees and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the workplace experiences and access to career-enhancing opportunities of transgender employees and to apprise organization leaders of opportunities to create an all-inclusive workplace environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This phenomenological study used semi-structured interviews with transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in the US. Study participants (n = 12) varied slightly in racial and ethnic identities, the highest level of formal education completed and the industry sector they were employed at the time of interviews.

Findings

The data reveals a lingering presence of dominant narrative (cissexism) in US organizations and its adverse impact on workplace experience and access to career-enhancing opportunities of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. The participants’ narratives reveal recommendations for effective organizational practices for a transgender-inclusive workplace.

Research limitations/implications

The challenge of recruiting qualified participants from the marginalized group along with the selection criteria of English proficiency and legally adult age resulted in a relatively limited sample (n = 12) nevertheless adequate for the study.

Practical implications

Results of this study point at the urgent need to increase visibility and acceptance of the represented population and expand workplace diversity policies to create inclusive, just and equitable organizations for all individuals that will translate into job satisfaction and improved productivity.

Social implications

This study contributes to developing a culture of inclusion and prevention of discrimination in the workplace thus ensuring respect, safety and agency for gender minority employees.

Originality/value

This study contributes to a better understanding of workplace experiences, access to career-enhancing opportunities of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals and best practices for a transgender-inclusive workplace.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

André L. Honorée and Rusty Juban

This study examines whether various judicial demographic and political characteristics have an influence on case outcomes in transgender employment discrimination cases…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines whether various judicial demographic and political characteristics have an influence on case outcomes in transgender employment discrimination cases. Specifically, it assesses whether the race, sex or political party of federal judges result in significantly different employment case outcomes for transgender employees in the US district courts.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilizing a legal database of all federal employment discrimination cases over the past five decades, the study ultimately identified 97 cases with transgender plaintiffs. Chi-square and frequency analyses were employed to test the hypotheses regarding the effect of race, sex and political party of federal judges on transgender employment case outcomes.

Findings

The results intimate that both the political party and sex of the judge have an effect on case outcomes. Specifically, the transgender plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases have a greater chance for success when such cases are presided before Democratic and female judges.

Practical implications

The study's findings of significant differences in case outcomes suggest that characteristics of judges should be taken into account by potential plaintiffs and defendants, as they consider if/how to proceed with their cases.

Social implications

Such research focuses more attention on the fair and equal treatment principle of the American judicial system due to the significant differences found in case outcomes as a result of judges' characteristics.

Originality/value

No research till date has examined the outcomes of transgender employment discrimination cases in the US despite national surveys indicating the pervasiveness and severity of such discrimination.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 42 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 October 2019

Nitya Rani and Anand A. Samuel

The transgender community faces prejudice and stigma and is one of the most ostracised groups in society. One of the ways to reduce prejudice is through intergroup…

Abstract

Purpose

The transgender community faces prejudice and stigma and is one of the most ostracised groups in society. One of the ways to reduce prejudice is through intergroup contact. This may be achieved through direct or indirect contact. The purpose of this paper is to compare the impact of direct and indirect contact on reducing transphobia.

Design/methodology/approach

Direct contact was achieved through a transgender speaker panel and indirect contact involved a video presentation. In total, 159 students enroled in undergraduate courses at a prominent university in India were enlisted for this study. Perceptions regarding transgenders were measured using the genderism and transphobia scale. Perceptions were measured at three different time points – before the contact, immediately after the contact and one month post contact.

Findings

Results indicate that both direct and indirect contact cause a significant immediate decrease in transphobia at the post intervention stage. However, only direct contact caused significant reduction at the follow-up stage (one month after the intervention). Direct contact also effected a greater reduction in transphobia than indirect contact.

Research limitations/implications

This study extends previous research that shows that speaker panels involving sexual minority speakers can result in reducing stigma (e.g. Croteau and Kusek, 1992). The present study shows that such speaker panels can also be useful for reducing stigma against transgender individuals. Another important outcome of this study is the relative effectiveness of direct contact in reducing transphobia compared to indirect contact. Direct contact resulted in greater reduction in transphobia both at the post-test and follow-up stages compared to indirect contact.

Practical implications

The results of this study may benefit HR practitioners and policy makers in designing workplace initiatives and policies in creating an inclusive workplace. This study shows that meaningful interaction with transgenders would be a key step in reducing stigmatisation. Since direct contact is rarely expensive or time consuming, it can be a valuable tool to improve the integration of transgender individuals within society. Therefore, students and employees may be encouraged to interact with transgender individuals through panel discussions and workshops. Indirect contact may be used as a preliminary intervention in certain cases where direct contact may be difficult to organise.

Social implications

The stigma faced by transgender individuals has a significant negative impact on their quality of life (Grant et al., 2014; Reisner and Juntunen, 2015). It is, therefore, necessary to recognise and reduce prejudice against transgenders at both the college and school levels as well as in work organisations. Educators and managers have a significant role to play in this societal change. This study shows that stigma reduction can be achieved in a fairly simple way through contact theory.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to investigate Indian students’ perceptions of transgenders. It improves on earlier studies using similar interventions in two main ways. First, this study includes a follow-up assessment, which was not performed in most studies. Second, random assignment of participants to one of two conditions improves the reliability of the findings.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 51 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

Keywords

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