LGBTQ community experiencing high levels of discrimination and stigma in society is not a new matter, But it is important to raise the issue they are facing in society and while interacting with people. The Santa Clara county office of LGBTQ issued a new study that focuses on addressing the problems faced by the LGBTQ community.
Sera Fernando manager at Santa Clara County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs conducted the study about transgender and nonbinary employment in the county. The study “Santa Clara County Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Expansive Employment” consist of 9 sections that deal with the problem faced by the community at workplaces. It is a 79-page report, which was completed in June and Publically released in October.
Santa Clara County
The leaders of the community, business, and government are invited to discuss the findings of the study and to add their opinion and suggestions regarding the issues raised. As it is a social issue that should be discussed and solved in public, this study can be considered a gateway for the public to realize the problems faced by the community.
According to the report, a total of 234 nonbinary and transgender participants are included in the study who are living or studying in Santa Clara County.
Fernado wrote that she was surprised to know that despite inclusive policies in some companies, co-workers, colleagues, and some participants who are in customer-facing environments are not provided with the same safety and protection when interacting with the customer. They are bullied and their identity is questioned by the public which harms their personality and emotions.
She also argues that the study will help to highlight the importance of knowing how trans and gender-nonconforming community members are experiencing in the workplace and will serve as a strong baseline for what employers need to do to be more accepting and affirming of an increasingly diverse workforce.
About The Study
This research study explores the range of challenges that transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive community members come across in their jobs and career paths. This study tried to provide insights on barriers to employment as well as a positive workspace environment, goals, and recommendations for supporting the LGBTQ community.
The participants were selected between the age range of 18 to 70, in that 44% were employed full-time and 12% were unemployed. The participants represented the racial and ethnic groups living in the county which includes Asian/Pacific islander (25%), Latinx (24%), Black(11%), and white(38%). Overall, 62% identified as BIPOC.
The study used a mix of methodologies to effectively find out certain goals such as to understand the lived experience of discrimination for TGNB residents and employees, to explore what accommodations, policies, and practices in the hiring process, how workplace discrimination affect the mental health of the community, and the study also provides narratives and tips to overcome obstacles.
The project covers a wide range of topics such as educational and career histories; experience as a job seeker and employee; current attitude, awareness, and opinion about the County Santa Clara as a government entity.
The current does not limit to the identity as transmen or women, nonbinary, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, genderfluid, agender, bigender, intersex, and other identities other than cisgender but every gender which comes under the ‘umbrella’ of transgender or nonbinary. The research used surveys, individual interviews, and focus groups as a methodology to collect the information in various ways.
Fernando explored some key findings which brought the study to the top, which are financial hardship, gender identity and expression discrimination, and transgender-affirming workplaces in the county. 70% of the participants struggle financially, considering their educational qualification, about half(46%) of participants hold bachelor’s degrees or higher, but they are not getting enough money when compared to others. A quarter of the participants faced discrimination at the time of hiring, they are rejected because of their identity.
The study widely covered many factors including the recommendations which will help local government, small businesses, and corporations to improve the work environment and utilize the full potential of talented people instead of discriminating against them of their identity and gender. The step taken by Sanat Clare Country paved the way that leads society to think differently and consider everyone as human.