Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act; this includes anyone who has proposed, started, or completed a process to change their gender role.
It is estimated that 1% of the UK is gender variant to a significant degree. About one fifth of them may undergo a change of gender role, amounting potentially to 130,000 people. So far, few have made that change, perhaps 20,000. But the number of people now doing so is growing at 20% per annum and even more rapidly among those aged 18 or less. Roughly equal proportions of the people now making the change were assigned as female or male at birth.
The ECU provides guidance for higher education institutions to help them provide effective support for staff and students - Trans staff and students in HE and colleges (pdf).
Support at Imperial
Imperial is working in partnership with GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) to promote respect and provide equal treatment for trans people. You may have attended Imperial's 2014 Diversity Lecture, delivered by GIRES.
The College has developed a Trans Staff Policy (pdf):
- Trans Policy Resource A - Support Contacts (pdf)
- Trans Policy Resource B - Terminology Guidance (pdf)
- Trans Policy Resource C - Managers Toolkit (pdf)
- Trans Policy Resource D - Gender Pronouns Guide (pdf)
- Trans Policy Resource E - Gender Neutral Facilities (Excel)
GIRES has developed a free e-learning resource on transgender issues and a series of films, such as the one at the bottom of this page, for those who wish to develop their awareness of issues faced by trans individuals and learn best practice.
To help form a better understanding of the workforce so we can ensure that all staff are treated fairly, we now ask staff to declare their gender identity. You can do this through ICIS Self Service.
Trans status, your gender identity, is different from sexual orientation. However the forms of prejudice and discrimination directed against trans people can be very similar to those directed against lesbian, gay, or bisexual people. Historically the two communities have coexisted and supported each other. As a result, action and support groups often include both sexual orientation and trans status. In the College, Imperial 600 was established in 2006 to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans staff.