In this epiode, Dominic Bowen speaks with Rachel Reese about Trans & Non Binary Inclusivity in the work space. Rachel gives insightful advices to companies on how to create a safer, more inclusive space for gender non conforming and trangender people from recruitment to career progression stages. She reminds companies of the importance of catering for generation Z’s ideals and professional expectations, particulary around non-binary and trans inclusivity.
Rachel Reese is the CEO of Global Butterflyies, a trans and non-binary inclusion training company that comprises of trans only staff. She is an experienced facilitator and consultant who specialises in helping companies create a trans and non-binary inclusive workplace.
The International Risk Podcast Interview Transcript
00:03 Dominic Bowen
Good morning I’m Dominic Bowen and I’m the host of The International Risk Podcast. Today we are joined by Rachel Reese. She’s the CEO of Global Butterflies. An award-winning company that helps businesses to create trans and non-binary inclusive environments for both their staff and their clients.
00:45 Rachel Reese
You’re very welcome Dominic. It’s lovely to be here.
01:02 Dominic Bowen
We’ve heard they have had many clients in the top 100 LGBTQI employers list and they work mainly in the Us but also in the they work mainly in the UK but also have clients in the us Canada and Hong Kong and I think a lot of what Rachel’s going to say with us today is going to be relevant for all of us. Thanks, very much for joining us on the podcast today Rachel. Well let’s just start off with a baseline. Do you feel as the CEO of Global Butterflies that LGBTQI and trans rights are accepted.
Does everyone accept that we cannot and that we should not discriminate against someone based on what they decide is their sexual orientation and gender identity or is this still an ongoing battle or ongoing debate.
01:15 Rachel Reese
It’s That’s a very complicated question. Um I would say that all rights are moving forward, but it’s ebb and flow. It can be governments change um social opinions changed. Um, so. Social Economics change governments change because of social economics and you know more extreme governments will come in and rights will take ah will be reduced. Um, so in the space of the Lgbt rights you know in some countries where you would think this was a done deal. They’re now rolling backwards. Um, and so you you can never afford. Not just Trans rights but or Lgbt rights or women’s rights. You can never afford to be Complacent. You need to always be vigilant and always moving forwards with rights because there’s no right to Cake. We’re not all share then know if I have more rights than somebody else. It doesn’t take away their rights. We all need. It’s a good thing that we. Are fighting across the spectrum of rights.
02:11 Dominic Bowen
And do you feel that you know when you wake up in the morning or maybe on Friday afternoon when you turn your computer off and you look back at your week. Are you feeling? Do you feel positive or where do you sit?
02:28 Rachel Reese
Well my partner is extremely the positive one and I’m the sort of I should say I was the negative one. We’re kind of like the wet weather warm weather character in a weather vein.
I think that positively I think our company’s done some great work. We work with a lot of corporate companies and we’re helping corporate companies to be allies. So from that point of view. We’re very successful. However, we are living in 1 of them in the united kingdom is rolling back. Its lgbt rights mainly trans rights. And based on a lot of falsehoods and as ah, running a company that does just we just do training in a toxic in in a country where rights are plummeting that that does give me cause concern and I you know tend to somebody or write something nasty about me almost weekly. Um, or make something up about me and we have some extreme media outlets and I I think the Uk media is pretty famous worldwide for its hideousness and we tend to if it’s not us. It’ll be another trans organization that we know and support who will be in one of those papers and that I go into became with a bit of doom and gloom sometimes. But obviously within a few hours I’ve gone into my my balance and my yory level headedness and go into the weekend and try and switch off so I’m recharged for monday.
03:43 Dominic Bowen
I’d like to unpack some of the the rolling back of rights with you but perhaps to to help some of our listeners listeners understand some of the risks I know you are involved in supporting the development of the Uk Government’s gender neutral drafting guide and it’s a great guide and and I encourage people to to have a look at it. We’ll link to it in the show notes.
For those that might be wondering that haven’t yet had a look at the the podcast show notes Gender Neutral drafting. It’s about avoiding gender specific terms and pronouns and adjeives such as she her him he his and definitely avoiding nouns that appear to assume a person is a particular gender based on their job title and the classic example. Is Chairman as opposed to Chairperson. What are the risks for companies and leaders I mean some people think it’s political correctness gone too far but can you tell us what is what is the risk for companies and and for managers that are failing to consider gender neutrality when they’re drafting documents when they’re drafting policies. And when they’re speaking to their colleagues and employees.
04:39 Rachel Reese
Well, we’re not trying to eliminate gender I mean that’s you know that’s what if you were a gender criticaltical or Anti-tran. That’s what you’d be saying are you illumining gendered Language. We’re not trying to do that I’m might pronoun a shi her I’m a woman I’m very happy to people to use very gendered language with me. However. There is a big part of the community Im sure will cover this that isn’t gendered or they or they are gendered but they’re not binary Gender. They’re non-binary and they’re very, they’re genders straight fluid and they’re not exclusively male or female. So What law firms who are leading on this is the sector that’s leading Worldwide. Um. Just needed a way of of drafting contracts and legal documents that it could include that large part of the Trans or Nonbinary community. If if you’re right, drafting a contract for me, you can put sheha and and whatever in the past, but it’s that’s not always going to be the case. So if your client is non binary. Well, how do you draft a contract for that. And that’s all law firms have done. They’re just extending the language and not reducing or taking it away and so it’s only when it’s bent into all this anti Woke. It’s woke gone mad argument that you hear all over the world. Um, you know woke means empathy and understanding and inclusion and and so I am woke and so I’m Proud badgewearer. But I think law firms have decided that they’re doing it because workforces are changing and you know we can talk about the the dynamics of of Generation Z and millennials and generation. Alpha but law Firms. You know they’re not saints. They want to earn money they want clients and they want that workforce.
Banks Insurers are all the same they are working to make sure they capture that new workforce and those new clients and the way they do that is by using inclusive language and businesses that do that they get a dynamic workforce that has sort of variant in thinking for R and D etc because you are bringing in different types of people with different backgrounds and Trans and nonbinary people. Make up a large part of Generations E in a good part of non but of the of millennials so organizations are getting ready governments and hate groups and all that stuff. Yes, they’re all there but corporates you look at look look at how many hate groups are in a corporate Organization. You won’t see it because they know and that’s why they’re planning.
06:42 Dominic Bowen
I reading one of your recent publications Rachel that companies that are in the top quartile for diversity are actually 21% more likely to have above average profitability. Can you draw the links for us between diversity. And profitability.
07:01 Rachel Reese
Yeah, it comes down to if if you and some organizations will recruit the same kind of people the same education the same university the same kind of dynamic and so if you suddenly you’re in a crisis and you put those 21 people around the table say we need a r and d this and fix this problem. Going to get to anyone the same answers. That’s why when I worked in defense we had six six different software teams working on Flyby our wire systems from 6 different universities using 6 different bits of software because you do not want the same bit of software running 6 lanes on an aircraft data bus system. It’s the same in a business. You need a dynamic. You need you need a variance of gender ethnicity allcycl neurodiversity and you will get ah different answers. You’ll have a lot of out-of-the- boxts thinking and I always say that if you’re nice to trans people. You’re nice to everybody in an organization. It’s a great selling point. You’re going to get the best people applying and the most dynamic people that done research. And they’ve done lots of research those are the kind of people that you want in your organization. So yes, companies that do have a very diverse and included who are treated with critique. They do always tend to do better than those organizations that are stagnant and don’t do any work in these areas.
08:15 Dominic Bowen
So Rachel the international risk podcast as ah as a great listening base around the world and it’s growing at a really fast rate which is fantastic and a lot of our listeners are business leaders and and executives so for those companies and leaders that want to begin the trans and non-binary inclusive journey. Where do they start? What what do they do when they go into the office today. What should they look at their policies or how they communicate what’s what’s the first step.
08:40 Rachel Reese
Oh they should hire me no seriously. Ah, the transon noninnary is the simplest characteristic of them all. There’s a lot of noise on so anti-trans and and governments and things on social media. But actually it’s the simplest, characteristic and a lot of organizations tend to leave it till last. And um, they will do all sorts of other characteristics under the you know under their equality acts or inclusion and they leave trans and onbini because they think it’s quite difficult but actually we are all the other things I’m a woman I’m a lesbian you know I’m neurodiverse I have a lot of other aspects other than being trans so we sort of are all the other characteristics as well. Um, so we don’t have to the the things that companies need to do really is I mean just do a little bit of research talk to your trans and nonbinary employee employees. We’ll have them. Um it. It really starts with small steps. You do not have to know all our language. You do not have to know all our history because we have a lot of terms. They’re always changing. Um, because we have lot of young you know generations that young millennials are generating a lot of language. It always comes down to a name get to ask somebody’s name the title and their pronouns you’ll sit onboarding systems title name pronouns. You’re all your collusion policies. You know you put your old gender luu in senior leaders talking about it put your your policy in health adds to your healthcare. Very straightforward and keep us safe and there isn’t ah there isn’t it isn’t a complicated set of steps to worry about if you do go public and we would love organizations to become allies. Yeah, you’ll get a little bit of a social media pylon. But it’s not large it burns out within a couple of days and most brands that are done have gone out and advocated for lgbt rights but trans and non-binary rights have tended to um, done pretty well afterwards because you know trans and non-binary people. We’re very you know the pink pound if that if our our pound is pink um is you know we’re very loyal to organizations that give us grid service and look after us and so yeah, I’d say that it is a very. Simple thing to do you don’t have to go from 0 to hero overnight as my partner always says you can start with something small to try a transitioning and changing gender expression policy that will actually inform you writing that policy about a lot of the issues that going on in our space talk to your trans and non-biing people if you’ve got visible trans or nonmbbient people in organiz it ask them. What’s it like to work here. How could we be giving better service outside our walls and you can start small and just say add us to your healthcare make sure your employee assistance program can can give good advice if I was to ring them up and ask for for medical health advice. It’s just very small steps just think about right across your organization but do some basic education do a trans and nonbinary 1 to 1 lunch and learn get a trans nonbinary speaker to come in on a lunch and learn. They’ll give you the language they’ll tell you that you can make mistakes and you can make mistakes. Of course you can if you’re not doing it with bad intention and you’re not doing it on purpose. Everybody makes mistakes I make mistakes even when I’m training on stage I get people’s pronouns wrong I apologize and move on quickly. It’s very very simple and it’s not this huge mountain that employees think it is and it’s going to do you the world of good as a business.
11:38 Dominic Bowen
And no, that’s very valid and I think in many cases and and you and I were discussing this whether it is black lives matter whether it’s me too. Whether it’s trans and non-binary rights some of these topics are ah scary. You know we weren’t taught them in school and especially if you’re you’re a little bit older. You know they they seem like ah. It’s a long way away from conversations we’ve had and sometimes you know the old head in the sands. It’s better to avoid than engage and I think that’s ah, a real fear. But if we if we look at that on a specific person to person level Rachel how do we implement this in our day to day lives I mean noting that there’s a variety of very important. But sometimes different concepts including biological sex gender identity sexual orientation gender expression and of course we can’t always tell someone’s gender identity be looking at them. You know what interactions look like and and. And and how do we fully engage on this topic as I just talked about not avoiding and actually fully engaging and and learning I mean I saw in in some um in some research for for our conversations today that we should be asking people their name and their pronouns just just like you said. But I guess you know when I thought about that practically because I thought oh that sounds so easy and you made it sound so easy to send when you said to someone you know as an employer you know what’s your role. What’s your name. What’s your pronoun that dis him like oh you know could I can pitch myself doing that in in a work environment but generally speaking I wouldn’t ask someone their nationality their country of origin or the country they most feel closely aligned with.
So sometimes it feels like it might be inappropriate to ask someone their their pronouns in some settings So I’m wondering how how do we implement this in ah in a very personal level.
13:12 Rachel Reese
That’s a great question for me it I don’t you know I don’t rush up to people ask everybody their pronouns when I meet them or where you you know I mean it. It starts with the name when you meet somebody you can’t use pronouns in a one to-one conversation anyway. So when I meet somebody I I ask your name hi and need talkin. Either the pronouns come out as part of the conversation. Um, or if I’m going to meet a client or I’m meeting somebody. You look at their social media. Most people put put it on their linkedin now put them as people put it on this on their twitter on their instagram so I already know their pronouns but I pet them. Um, if if I’m in a 1 to 1 social situation. Why I’m just going to use their name. And if they’re going to become my friend and I’m going to get to know them I’ll probably give them my prow by the way my pronoun is she hurt can I just ask what yours are and and just move on quickly. Um, it depends on that you know you always have to do it in every situation. So that’s a natural feel conversation. You know I getting to know somebody is like I I’m my irish I got blue eyes I’ve got a 7 3 7 you know lots of other things.
You know hr departments do that every day of the weekend them up the Sunday now. So. It’s just a natural thing. It’s not a big thing. Um, and as as an ally or something that’s interested There’s so much information out there just to be careful where you get it from because there’s a lot of all, you know there are organizations that pretend to be inclusive for trans people. And they write language and couch in a term in ways that are pretty pretty dark. Um, so just go to reputable sources.
15:46 Dominic Bowen
Yeah, we’ve had several guests including Data Motley on the podcast a couple of times talking about disinformation and misinformation and and we really have to be really critically analyzing all the information we’re receiving.
You spoke then about different generations and and for anyone listening to the podcast who’s wondering how significant an issue is the issue of trans and non-binary inclusivity. Well 12% of us millennials identify as transgender or or gender nonconforming.
16:23 Rachel Reese
So we know that you know when I you know when I was out back in the 80 s and early 90 s I’m really really old. Um, the you know this. Trans and nonbinary people were always there. It just a lot of this weren’t visible because it wasn’t really safe or really understood I mean it’s not that this is there’s you know some people say there’s a trend and it’s you know and and that’s just not simply not true. You know there were lots of you know as I’ve said to you before there’s you know we didn’t have many lefthanded people because it was. Ban in schools and now they don’t ban it scores and suddenly we have lots of left-handed people. They’re always there. Um, and I think that we are seeing now we have understand that gender is you know a little bit more fluid.
Then we understood that people are just finding actually I don’t feel that I’m on that part of that of the spectrum I’m sort of here and we millennials were the first kind of generation. You know some gene ah gen x like myself but millennials differently. You know we know that. Some of the statistics coming out of the us 12% of millennials could be non-binary gender identities between male and female and that’s a big chunk and we we suspect. It’s a lot higher than that and we’re seeing a lot of non-blinary identity in in millennial. But gen z you know and I’ve quoted the harvard business review that did an article last year that said 25 sent generation z will change their gender expression once in their working lifetime over the next forty years of work that’s massive. That’s why companies are doing this because they want that they want those clients and they want um that that workforce and they they see that. Um, that you know it’s good for business and millennial and so and generation said are very, they’re very inclusive. Um, they are very vocal. They do a lot of research they look at companies am I going to be say am I going to thrive and these are my terms. Yeah I thought millennials were pretty. This is my terms. This is how I’m going to work. But Genn saidd is much more vocal on this you know they’ve got a lot of worries. They’re worried about nuclear war they’re worried about climate change. They’re worried about I you know we may not have lot a lot of time on this planet. So why I’m Goingnna do what where I am going to work I’m going to thrive and they are vocal and that’s a credit to if you’re a parent of a generation saying well done because my experience of working with Gen Zs in some of the gaming companies that we work with is wow they are pretty balanced. You know they don’t buy terribly awful newspapers. They don’t listen to news services that have bias they are they are I’ve spoken to these. They they’ve done those analytics they’ve done that research and they do that on your companies. They really do and they look for those signs and signals that you’re inclusive.
19:03 Dominic Bowen
I Mean one of the most important aspects of risk management and this is the international risk podcast is to identify risks and to identify opportunities and really, that’s the only reason we identify risks.
Is because we want to navigate and pursue opportunities and you know that can mean a healthy happy life. It could mean business interests or investments. Um, and and so one of the things we really want to do and one of the things I really want to do and I think a lot of our listeners do and that’s why they listen to the international risk podcast is to understand the environment. We we operate in now. This morning before we started recording I spent my morning looking at the the 4 blasts in the in the baltic ocean in Nord Stream one and 2 and the the impact on on Europe and you know and I’ve been working with the analysts trying to determine as as a percentage what is the likelihood. That president Putin will actually use nuclear weapons. You know we’re coming into the rain ah Rainier season. The mobility of armed vehicles in Ukraine’s going to get quite challenging. You know there’s a call up of 300000 russian soldiers and that that’s my headspace today and and when we look at that’s so just as ah as a reference. That’s where my headspace is right now and. When we look at and when we hear the stats that 25% of generation zeds expect to change their gender identity at least once in their lifetime I sort of wonder and maybe some of our listeners are wondering like what does what does that? Actually what does that mean like is ah as a headpace you know for me, a heterosexual male I’ve always identified as a male. It’s It’s hard for me to sort of understand like what does that mean to change. Ah your identity and I thought it was quite interesting that soon I read that article I Thought that article was was fantastic and we’ll link to that in the show notes but it was interesting that it was at least once in the lifetime it wasn’t just; yes, you know I was born in a malebody but I feel like I’m a woman you know it’s so talking about changing it at least once in a lifetime. So what does that? What does that actually mean for for people that haven’t considered that and and I guess the the follow one and perhaps even more important than that or maybe not more important but different.
How as communities can we be having open and respectful discussions about the nature of gender Dysphoria Chan’s rights and and other sensitive topics.
21:16 Rachel Reese
Um, it’s a really good question I think yeah I worry about the pipelines and nuclear war and I think the fact is that the the greater harm that the the what’s happening with Russia is actually um, the energy crisis that that has now triggered across Europe. Ah has caused a lot of governments. Um and banking and we have got a banking crisis in the uk now a lot of that has to do with people. Um, um, governments you know people not being unable to pay bills unable to pay their heating bills food banks heating banks. And this is the time that actually governments go right? So the risk is not really you know I don’t believe there will be a nuclear war I mean I was a child of the 80 s and you know and I worked in defense and wow we came close a few times there and we’re not there yet I think that for me. Yeah I think that the government’s moving right? is more dangerous.
Because what we’ve seen in some part aspects in the United States we’ve seen it in Sweden we’ve seen it in France we’ve seen it now in italy right-wing governments reap when this kind of stuff is going on. Um and they and they use their thing called they don’t have any solutions for.
Hunger and heating and they don’t have those solutions but what they do have is hate and fear and they sell that into populations and that’s where and well that’s what we’re seeing in a number and we’ve got a little bit of aspects of that here in the Uk right now. Our writing papers. Are you’d be scared. You know it’s. Lgbt. It’s and you know it’s it’s it’s refugees coming into the United Kingdom it’s all that usual stuff and that’s that’s the the weather. The damage is and the fact is um, what. Organizations should be worried about is the fact is that all of these people that they’re talking about people from familiar backgrounds lgbt people women we work in your companies and so when governments are ah are are empowered. They’re doing this. Um, and the papers are writing their stuff and media broadcasters are writing their stuff because they’re meant to be independent but generally aren’t now your employees are coming into work with quite a heavy shoulder. There. Anybody from a who is not a white heterosexual male ed if you’re a woman if you’re if you’re an he’s come from an ethnic background or lgbt. You are feeling a little bit of ah you know your rights to body autonomy your rights to have fairness in the workplace that is affected now and that’s where corporates have to be brave because the effects on Russia are having a lot of effects on a lot of government and a lot of governments are doing some very naughty stuff. A lot of naughty things and corporates have to stand the ground against that.
Because you need to keep your employees safe and if you keep them safe. They have safe havens where they can still get healthcare. Be safe thrive and do their best for you. So right now we are seeing a lot more advocacy from organizations then we would you know you see Disney and flora for instance, fighting back against. Don’t say gay I mean you’re seeing that is what we so in the united kingdom we’ve got brands. Speaking out against this the rhetoric against anti-trans campaign but it’s not about trans rights. Um, you know the united nations writes report after report that says trans rights in all these countries that are pushing back are just the low-hung fruit on right? It will be lgb to right? Lgb rights and we’re already talking about. Same-sex marriage and adoption in the us and Uk and then of course women’s right to body autonomy so and a lot of organizations are very tied up most of these organizations are financed according to the un not to me a lot of this money flooding in is coming from the same organizations so companies really need to make a stand. Because if I you know we we are a training company. We just train all trans on non-min rights and how to be inclusive but we would love organizations to be more corporate Allyed. We lose corporate allyship because je remember by generation ed remember they’re coming. They have this long his they have this long memory of the organizations that spoke out now. But when they start to getting quite mature in their roles and where they want to work and they’ll be looking organizations that did something now and when and right in the heat of the storm which is where we are for trans and nonbinary rides I hope that made sense.
25:22 Dominic Bowen
There’s so much to unpack, there’s so much to consider it some certainly a challenging and a persistently volatile world and I think even you know, it’s tough to be a kid.
It’s tough and I think about my son and you know he’s smart. He’s able body. He’s got no known disabilities other than his table manners and you know he’s fantastic and he struggles every morning when I drop him at school. Ah you know we have conversations about different thing and it’s tough to grow up. And it’s hard to figure out what it is to be a man. It’s hard to figure out what it is to be a woman and that transition into an adult man and an adult woman is complicated for nearly everyone and I think as people are struggling with this process about how to grow up into an adult decent human and be a good parent.
Some people are also struggling with their sexual identity at the same time. Can you provide our listeners with some insights about the additional risks and the additional complexities that come also with transitioning from one gender to another.
26:30 Rachel Reese
I mean I you know I knew I was transgender when I was 4 years old and I was different and you know this isn’t the 70 s and I couldn’t talk to my parents about it and my childhood was miserable. I had a really dark you know, write through to my teens. It was not something I could speak about to my parents, you know they were lovely when they when I did transition and everything eventually later in life but they it wasn’t something that was spoken about so I never took joy in my youth and you know a lot of now children are more able to share with their parents and. And you know so paper after but you know trans and you transchildre isn’t our speciality but we don’t work in that space. But the fact is all the evidence suggests if you allow children to talk about it. You allow them to live in their gender expression. They thrive. Um, if if you don’t they don’t tend to and that that’s that there’s hundreds and hundreds and pretty well every reputable medical organization in the Uk I’m sorry in the worldwide to kind of say that um and so it can be. You know, not to be able to talk about your sexuality as you get older or your or your gender identity. You’re not being authentic. You don’t really you tend to be hiding quite almost ah oscar-winning performer to somebody or not um and that was like you know my career. For instance when I worked in defense in male expression and when I trained in in law.
You know I wasn’t you know I was a bit you know I was okay at my work I didn’t really thrive because I was having to go in and do this Oscar winning performance in my male role and then once I transitioned I stopped doing and I could just be me this funny witty person that you’re talking to today. I don’t have to pretend to be somebody I’m not and I thrived you know I rose up through the ranks of my organization very quickly I because I was bringing my whole self to work so not being able to talk about who you really are not being able to express it. It. Just that you feel guilt you feel darkness you just you don’t really live in joy like everybody else around you and you’ve got all the other things you’ve got climate change. You’ve got nuclear war you’ve got to get a job. You’ve got to pay them all all that stuff’s going on as well. But you carry that on your shoulders. So right now trans are nonbiing people that even now you know they are. Those who are transitioning it is a terrifying step. You know you’ve got to tell employers. Are they going to give you a job. Are you going to tell your family are they going to still love you are you got to tell your friends are they going to still be your friends and then in most you know lot of western some of the western countries like America and us and the Uk right now you’ve got. The media you’ve got governments. You’ve got you. But you’re used as a political football. You’ve got hatreds. You’ve got fascists turning up to drag queen storytelling you’re in a world that doesn’t want you to exist but you know and so trans people who come out now are extremely brave.
Because you are facing all of that and then you’ve got to go into work and do your job with all that on your shoulder so it is not something you know people go. It’s a trend. Well you know I laugh at that because it’s an incredibly brave journey you make if you’re doing a medicalized journey. Well, that’s an incredibly expensive and complicated and painful journey. And you are bailing. You could you have? You’re possibly possibly alienating every aspect of your so your communities’s work family and friends. You could be doing that too and especially if you’re in a country where lgbc rights haven’t really progressed so it’s not it is a very challenging thing. You’ve got all that on your shoulder and everything else that everybody else is dealing with. I mean I spoke to young trans women both 19 at twenty years old and I you know they thought I was a boomer of gen x actually but anyway, but they called me boomer and um and I was saying yeah that you know as to we would they they were read as I said they were really read the gen said they knew about all the politics and you wrote. The hateers where were the money was coming from which organizations were good at bad. This was really impressive and I said well you know I know you’ve got you know you’ve got climate change to worry about and they went. Yeah don’t go on about you or in the eighty s blah blah blah because we’ve got that too and they were very funny about it and so you know they are very humous and very well. You know, very well, very broad spectrum on their reading and understanding and I was so impressed. You know you you don’t use new floor over us we have that and that made me hear made me smile sort of Vacuumor. That’s very good.
30:46 Dominic Bowen
We gosh our nuclear war was better than your nuclear war. Let’s hope we can still joke about that in 15 years but um ah yeah, you you talk about you talked about um, speaking to to 2 young transgender women recently.
I mean I know across the pond in the usa there’s been a lot of anger towards president Biden and his amendment or his proposed amendments to education laws that mean schools, you know anyone from children aged 5 to eighteen must be allowed access to bathrooms compete in sports and even join gender exclusive sororities based on the gender.
That the child identifies with now the backlash from what I understand has been from parents and teachers and children. That said this is unfair. How do we unpack this topic especially for people who might be fearful about what this means for their children or for themselves and also for people who see this as an opportunity.
31:38 Rachel Reese
Yes, so the it’s unfortunate that this it’s ended up where it has I mean the fact is that you know the politicians are using trans and nonbiary right? as I said as a deflection issue from bad policies and their incompetence and and we’re seeing that us and Uk and you know when we’ve had bad political announcements in the u k that’s a day that a politician will bang on about trans right to get that in the newspaper column inches instead of trans right? The fact is that in the us the um, the what you can’t deny in. And we had this in the Uk we book something called section twenty is that trans and non-binary people exist not talking about it in schools. Is it going to make us go away. Um, you’re just going to make a lot of trans and nonbinary and lgb people miserable. So I think talking about it in schools is important. Um, I just think it’s a shame that that they’ve had to legislate in that way because most states were moving forward quite nicely trying to write. It’s always about communication. It’s never do something with the kids without you know, parents children schools in the u k for instance are always brought in on conversations. Um. Lots of organizations exist to say what does the child need. What does the parent want what does the school do and it’s those It’s always about communication and simple education bringing organizations and the legitimate you know organizations to come in and talk.
What you can’t do I think legislating I think that he had to do that because they were just extraordinarily banning child trans people from life and lgb people from life. You can’t come to this school. You can’t use that you can’t take him pi in sport. You can’t have that healthcare I mean this is. Really um, a subject that needs to be with with communication of parents schools and and children and I think that’s where that’s been lacking in some regard. Um, but I would say that you know sport is obviously a hot topic right now and the fact is that. Um, we need to have debate about sport and trans people in sport I think that non-professional sport trans people should be allowed to play because it’s about communication and building communication skills and teamwork professional sport. Yeah let’s have some science but where’s the science. There’s no science. We’ve been taking part in the Olympics for 17 years. We haven’t won anything. Um. I think the fact is let’s have some science I mean I’ll be glad somebody to hand the cat me in a sport if they thought that my taking part was but when we’re banning trans people from darts and sooker I mean we are talking that this is not really about fairness this is about exclusion. We weren’t talking about trans people in sport four years ago we were but we are now because we’re trying to ban people trans people from healthcare hospitals sport women only list jobs toilets change it. This is about exclusion of trans people from life and I think the fact is that. This comes down to I think that Biden had to do what he had to do to protect us from the incredible when you’ve got fascists turning up to drag queens reading books I mean we are in a you’re in a pretty sick state as a country and I think we’ve got and we’ve got that starting to start here luckily lgbt people always come out in huge crowds to protect. Um, the the parents are kids who want to listen to a drag reading a story about snow white I mean I think the fact is you know that the community is larger but there is a lot of hate There’s a lot of fuel feel lot of misinformation being pumped into schools bying groups pretending to be legitimate. We’ve got the same thing in the u k. We’ve got a lot of very dark right? wing money which is and we’ve seen it in the Uk which is ultimately going after women’s rights. This isn’t really about trans rights. We’re a stepping stone and organizations. Um and governments are trying their best. In a way to try and circumnavige some of this very fined very toxic and all at the end of this. What people forget is there are human beings trans people don’t want. You know you shouldn’t have to worry about all my yeah I’d like to choose my pronouns on my name but we don’t care out I don’t care that you don’t know about um, all the identities and the la. Because we just want to live our life and get on with it I just ran a little Dr Bell butterflies was set up to do a little bit of trans inclusion training and that’s all we do, but we get bombarded all the time by hey mail and social media nastiness and mps saying asking nasty questions about us in the house and we get absolutely piled on by complete people who’ve never spoken to a Trans person in their life or a Trans child or a parent or a Trans child or an educator they just they get financed or they get influenced by a hate group. And like and that’s it. They just go on that crusade and I think that people there are people at the bottom of all this that just want to go on I Just want to go I’m in my fifty’s I’m I’m thinking about retirement and now I’m having to fight for my very existence and kids. Are at school getting bullied and you know by people who haven’t done it. Ah and teachers can’t protect them and and governments have to legislate to protect us and yet there are people at the bottom of this just trying to live their lives and and that’s becoming incredibly incredibly difficult and which takes us right back to the beginning it is why corporates are so important because you keep us safe. You recruit us, you give us work. You give us half healthcare and if you feel you know inclined you could be an advocate and ally corporate ally.
36:57 Dominic Bowen
Yeah, that’s really interesting and I’m glad you touched on that example with sports because I think you know the topic often often goes back to back to sport or about what toilets our kids. Ah what kids are using. But no I think this the topic of sport is an important one I played a lot of sport at school and you know I’ve always associated sport with something that’s open. It’s inclusive and it’s fair, and I think these discussions and you talked about science you talked about communication I think they’re all going to be critical elements in in deciding which way which way we want to go and for what sports and maybe for some sports. Yeah.
37:28 Rachel Reese
I hated sports at school I mean if I knew that coming out as transm would get me banned from the sport I’d to come out at school.
37:37 Dominic Bowen
Ah, ah, ah it’ always. There’s always ah opportunities when you when you look hard enough but you just talked on on corporates and I understand that up to 20% of the workforce could be trans or non-binary within the next couple of years if it’s not already. Um, if we haven’t already reached reached that percentages.
And in a situation where 1 in 5 of our employees may be non-binary or trans the opportunity to connect with employees is so significant and I’m always talking to employers and and clients about insider threats and insider opportunities and employee activism and.
You know when we’re talking about risks but I always flip and say there are so many opportunities and I see this as another potentially significant opportunity to engage with our employees. You know if you were told you know you can immediately engage with 1 in 5 employees on a topic that’s particularly interested to them. Wouldn’t you grab it so looking forward to the next decade what should we be considering to ensure that we are inclusive and and and as well creating motivating spaces for all our employees to work in.
But I think fact is that organizations say you don’t it’s not really a tit list of things. It’s a kind of what we call building it into your Dna as we came out of lockdown a lot of our corporate clients went what are we for I mean planets heating up. You know’re in mortal danger of it ending and corporates are going. We need to be. We got to get rid of. We got to go to more sort of corporate social justice away from corporate social responsibility. We need to move towards that so we need to tell people what we’re doing and get external bodies to come and judge us against how we’re doing and apologize for mistakes and move on and and lot of organizations are doing that and they’re doing that with climate. Which is one of the most important aspects now a lot of organizations working on green policies and their next steps they’re secondly looking at what is our workforce. This is our most important asset. So how do we treat them? How do we recruit them? How do we look after them because this is become of that connection between. Workforce and people’s um, outside lives are are quite blurred, especially now we all the homeworking we we’ve they’ve come into our living rooms and you know we own to our offices. We are our home offices so we have glled in a way that we’ve never done before and organisations are analyzing that. So for inclusion I mean with trans onal binary. Obviously you know we are looking at senior leaders talking about inclusion openly and that sends that positive light down and we are seeing a lot of transitioners in organizations come out because the senior leaders talked about that and there are some big corporations where the senior leader has gone into bat very publicly.
And then you’re talking about your right? you know moving down you know your ah hr recruitment talent attraction where you are how your systems and processes how you attract lgbt people for instance, your policies your healthcare your data protection of our data. Um, and how you handle transition change and gender expression management then the managers of how to manage diverse and included staff making sure they’re aware they will be diverse and included themselves so they’ve got all your client-facing staff your court centers your your shop sales people. Your. Your online presence your media selling all that kind of stuff has to be inclusive and you sending those signals out into the market then all your contractors the people you hired coming on in and out of your businesses. How and how trained are they are they aware of your inclusion model and then your healthcare so that is kind of your. Dna I mean you’re obviously all gender lov for so for non-binary people and anybody anybody anybody can use the all gender lu by the way. But anyway, it’s there and um, and and so you’ve got that whole sort of Dna but remember Jen Ed is out a outside and they’re just starting to look for their first job. Some of them are you know some of the young ones are in you know they’re 23 years old now. So they’re looking what are they looking at they’re looking outside your company and going well I need to thrive I need to be safe. So what companies are what are you projecting into the job market. So they’ll look at your statistics. What are yours like.
Like your law firm a company will say show us your makeup in your company show us your breakdown of your of your corporate dni because they will go to a company that’s got great diversity and and inclusion statistics gena is looking for the same thing so they’ll look at your breakdown on your website. They’ll look to see if you’ve got algbt networks alli networks women networks. They’ll see if you sponsor anything outside have you’ve done any good works. Do you sponsor lgbt organizations. They’ll look to see their faces on your marketing materials. Do I see a non by Reface in your marketing materials. They will look to see if you appear in any stone rankings for lgbt organizations. Are you in any league tables they will see if you they will stand outside your organization to see if you’ve got. Any gender variant clothing. Are you allowing? are you strict codes on uniform they will then sort of they will also look in your reception. Do you have any posters um lanyards monks anything el gender lunar reception. They will look at the application process. This is a red flag. They will still want to see if you’ve got. Can I give my pronouns to you and my gender identity as part of your recruitment process if not not going to reply that you haven’t done any work in that space so look at your social media then they really look at your social media. They’ll look at your Twitter instagram tikt to if you’ve got anything to see if you ever said anything nice about trans or nonbinary people and they’ll look at any of the um. Diversity calendar dates. We’ll go to Transta Of Visibility Trans day of awareness to see if you’ve ever said anything supported so there’s lots of signals. They’ll also look at your talent traction people. Do you put have they got pronouns on their emails have they got them any have you get because that’s a really good sign Hr the person who sent me mice.
Who answer my cv or ask me further questions and are they you know they’re they’re looking to see if you’ve actually um, thought about any of those markers and any one of those things could be a red flag and that’s what gen z looks for and that’s not me saying that. That’s what they say um, which is ah really their most intensive. Researchy generation that I’ve ever seen and that’s how you do it as an organization. It’s your Dna now I’ve seen organizations do a lot of that stuff but they don’t have any visible trans or nonbinary people because what’s missing from all that is yeah like the equity per is authenticity. You can tick all the boxes. Got to want to mean you’ve got to mean it. You’ve got to know and understand why this is so good. It’s but to pervade the air and you can walk into an organization and feel that that vibe and you can either look into other organizations and think okay, you’re doing all this stuff. It doesn’t feel doesn’t feel very nice here. You know you just get that. And that’s what gen z feels and that’s what I feel when I walk to organizations you get a buzz of how motivated they are.
44:30 Dominic Bowen
I think that’s an amazing amount of of things to to think about and and I think that’s actually fantastic. It’s not a I don’t say that it’s a oh my gosh. It’s an amazing amount of things to think about I think that’s oh that’s fantastic I love a list of 30 things.
That just means I can pick the top 5 that I like that I can do easily receptionist. Let’s get a poster up. What are we doing about lanyards. Let’s get some um ah multicolored lanyards have we put he she in the application process or pronouns in in the application process. You can do those in 30 seconds and straight away. You can go to bed going. You know what today I did 3 things.
45:00 Rachel Reese
it’s little steps and often you don’t have to do a big thing. That’s I said no zero to Hero overnight. You can just put pronouns or signature boxes make it Voluntary. You never make it mandatory.
45:08 Dominic Bowen
I did 3 things um and tomorrow you know we can tackle in over 3 things you know I think that’s fantastic.
Ah, putting allowing me to give you my gender identity in your in your application form. Amazing give letting me give you my pronouns even better, but it’s just little steps. It doesn’t take much.
Well, that was a very very interesting and insightful conversation. Rachel and I think it’s it’s great and as as I just said you know it’s it’s given given all of us and I think certainly me and I hope our listeners to some some things to to mull over and and you know some actions that we can immediately take to to reduce risk. And to pursue so many opportunities for our for our businesses and for ourselves and our personal life.
45:5 Rachel Reese
You’re very welcome Dominic I really enjoyed the conversation. Thank you very much.
46:01 Dominic Bowen
Thanks Rachel! Well that was Rachel Rees Ceo of global butterflies. We’ll link to a lot of things we talked about today in the show notes. Please subscribe to future episodes and I look forward to speaking with you again next week