Monday, September 17, 2007

The First Transgender Job Expo

From Transitioning into New Jobs and Genders about the transgender job expo this weekend in Atlanta:

The etiquette of transgender resumes was just one of the myriad challenges facing job seekers who packed the Atlanta convention hall. For transgender people -- at Friday's expo, they ranged from cross-dressers to those who had changed their gender through hormone therapy or surgery -- the workplace can be a minefield.

Many cannot find jobs. Even those who come out after they have settled in with a company risk losing their job. No federal civil rights protection exists for transgender employees, but 12 states have passed legislation ensuring employment protection. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this month on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of gender identity.

The Career Expo -- organized by the Southern Comfort Conference, the country's largest annual gathering of transgender people -- drew recruiters from more than 20 major corporations including Microsoft Corp., Deloitte & Touche LLP, Ernst & Young, American Airlines, Hewlett-Packard Co. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

In general, it sounds like job seekers skeptical of how transgender-supportive policies actually play out in the workplace. Still, the expo seems like a very good idea for corporations to step up to the plate and behave as if they support the inherent worth of each employee. Opportunities are good. Follow through is impresses us more.