Saturday, 19 June 2010

A Little Experiment

From Transgender Need Not Apply: A Report on Gender Identity Job Discrimination
We sent out carefully matched pairs of job applicants, one transgender and one not, to apply for the same jobs. Each pair was equivalent in age and ethnicity and equipped with fictionalized resumes that were evenly matched. Both testing pairs underwent extensive training on how to adopt similar interview styles and how to document their job-seeking interactions objectively. Transgender testers were instructed to explicitly inform store managers and interviewers of their transgender status whenever feasible.

Our research revealed an astonishingly high degree of employment discrimination against our transgender job applicants.
  • We found a 42% net rate of discrimination against transgender job seekers. In eleven out of the 24 employers tested, the transgender job applicant received no offer, but
    the control group tester did. Only in one instance did a transgender tester receive a job offer in our first round.
In 2009, we also conducted 82 surveys with transgender and gender non-conforming individuals about their experiences in the job market, not limited to the retail sector. These surveys corroborated the pattern of discrimination documented by the matched pair testing.
  • Of the 82 workers surveyed, 59% percent of transgender workers reported experiencing job discrimination.
  • 49% had never been offered a job living openly as a transgender person.
Although New York City Human Rights Law explicitly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity, discriminatory practices are still widespread.
No comment necessary - other than in places without legal protections, the situation is worse. That's all but 12 states in the USA. The effort to pass the Employment Non Discrimination Act is in the hope that the situation elsewhere will be so only 50% never, ever receive a job offer, rather than more than that.

And people wonder why so many hide their unusual medical history...


Justine Valinotti said...

In my experience, these days most supervisors and co-workers are savvy enough not to do anything overtly discriminatory. Instead, they're sneaky in their harassment and discrimination. Back in November, I was called into my college's HR office because of an anonymous complaint a "student" made about me. From the sorts of comments that were made and the writing style, I was certain that it was a particular colleague who smiles to my face but whom I've never trusted.

Anonymous said...

The other lesson to learn is to get a solid, decent job *before* transitioning. Hopefully in a jurisdiction with anti-discrimination laws that include the T, and for reasonably progressive comapanies.

Already being established in a field makes all the world of a difference.