The Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline Association yesterday urged employers to create more gender-friendly workplace environments, saying that transgender people continue to face many problems at work.
Taiwan has legalized same-sex marriage and is a model for gender equality in Asia, the association said.
However, a survey it conducted with the Taiwan Equality Campaign last year showed that 53.1 percent of companies have yet to implement any gender-friendly measures or make an attempt to create a LGBT-friendly workplace, the association said.
One of the main issues faced by transgender people is that they often have trouble finding a job, association secretary-general Tsai Ying-chich (蔡瑩芝) told a news conference in Taipei, citing reports it has received from transgender people.
Many transgender people write down on their resumes or job applications forms the gender that is recorded on their national identification cards, the association said.
However, because the photographs on their resumes or applications might not match that gender description, transgender people might not be able to find an ideal job or even get an interview, it said.
Another issue is that in some work environments, transgender people might not be able to access the bathroom that matches their gender identity, it said.
It added that some workplace environments not only require workers to wear a uniform, but also have different styles of uniform for male and female employees.
This forces transgender workers to wear a uniform that does not correspond with their personal gender identity, it said.
Some managers ask other employees in the company whether they would be willing to work with a transgender colleague or announce in advance that a transgender person would be joining the company, resulting in everyone in the workplace knowing they are transgender even in cases where other people might not have had questions about their gender based on their appearance, it said.
Taiwan has been discussing the need for gender-friendly workplaces for many years, but in the past the focus has been on women and gay or lesbian groups, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) said.
She said she would urge government agencies to promote more inclusive measures, such as having companies remove the gender question on their job application forms or giving applicants the option of choosing “other” as a response.
The association called for greater public awareness of the need for transgender-friendly workplaces ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on Monday next week.
The association said it would invite people to upload photographs of themselves wearing clothing in light blue, pink and white — the colors of the transgender pride flag — onto Facebook or Instagram on Monday with the hashtag #517我挺跨, the characters of which mean “I support the transgender community,” to show their support, it said.
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