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Inclusive Workspace needs more than just ramps

Where should a transgender person go in case of a bathroom emergency?

This is a question we might not ask ourselves, but it is something transgender people have to think about every day. The stigma around their gender identity and lack of acceptance by the binary employee have always kept them out of the gender-specific toilets dedicated to either males or
females.

Discriminative workplace designs

This is just a small and probably not most looked upon issue at the workplace, But there are a series of such issues that make a workspace fairly discriminatory to a substantial proportion of the employees at a workplace

  1. Size appropriation of toilets – The size of a urinal in a males restroom takes a lot lesser space as compared to a toilet booth in a female restroom. Therefore assigning equal space for both men’s and women’s restrooms is a discriminatory practice because, at any point in time, a larger number of men can use the restroom compared to women.
  2. Toilets for transgenders – If we revisit the opening statement, we are yet to conclude which of the men’s or women’s restroom a transgender person should use. Lack of a proper relieving facility violates their survival right and creates a toxic environment for all employees.
  3. Self-closing doors – Self-closing doors are a match made in heaven for employees who are not habitual of closing the doors. Still, such doors restrict the independent mobility of employees with physical limitations.
  4. Evacuation facilities for disabled – Most organizations do not have an evacuation plan for disabled employees, let alone proper evacuation facilities. Stairs on the name of evacuation facility are pure discrimination against employees with physical and visual limitations.
  5. Creches for Returning Mothers – The safety of children is one of the biggest concerns of a mother, and it becomes the biggest hurdle for returning mothers. Creches at the workplace can ensure the relaxation of the motherly instincts of female employees returning after childbirth.

Great Place to Work® has helped many organizations create an inclusive workspace for all employees. Many Great Place to Work® certified organizations have facilities like creches, a dedicated restroom for transgender people, and disabled-friendly facilities. These organizations have seen immediate results in terms of attracting a diverse workforce and increasing retention rates.

It is high time to understand that the mere presence of ramps is not disabled friendly and just recruiting transgenders is not transgender-inclusive. Great Place to Work® Workplace Inclusion Index can help identify such gaps and create a holistic and inclusive workspace that benefits all.

Keen to understand the impact of our D&I Initiatives and compete for honours in India’s Best Workplaces in Diversity & Inclusion? – Take the Inclusion Assessment now

Keen to be part of the Conversation – Register for the Great Place Diversity & Inclusion Summit 2022 here.

Great Place to Work® India

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