SBS look into transitioning in the workplace with new podcast ‘The Few Who Do’

SBS has just launched a new podcast The Few Who Dohosted by Jan Fran and Mark Fennell.

The new series looks at a wide variety of issues that society is facing and explores different people’s experiences of tackling the challenges.

The first episode focuses on transitioning in the workplace, with Kimberly Olsen and Aram Hosie (pictured) sharing their experiences.

For Aram Hosie its an issue he really wants more people to consider. The transgender rights advocate, who spent many years based in Perth, was back in town recently and catching up with OUTinPerth he told us why he was excited to be part of the first episode of the new series.

“I get a number of requests to speak about my experiences, but journalists who’ve done their research and are wanting to tell stories that have got a got bit more depth about the issues is something I find refreshing – and that was my experience with the SBS folks.” Hosie said, “They’d really done their research and brought in different perspectives on the issue.”

Many businesses are now bringing in policies that grant additional leave for people who wish to transition gender, it something Hosie thinks makes a lot of sense, and is surprised that some people are vocally opposed to the introduction of such policies.

“It makes a lot of sense, it’s not that different to parental leave. We give people time off to raise the next generation of humans because that’s a good thing to do. Some people have a funny attitude about what work is and what life is, and how these things should work.

“There’s good research that shows that companies that have policies and procedures in place that support good work life balance, and facilitate inclusiveness, become the preferred employers for people – it’s good for business.”

While schemes like the Australian Workplace Equality Index have seen big businesses and universities embrace supportive policies, for people working in smaller and medium sized businesses the same kind of policies may not be available, but Hosie thinks they will soon follow suit.

“I always say that when it comes to awareness about trans and gender diverse people we’re usually about ten years behind where gay rights are…the more people are aware that trans and gender people exist, and make great employees the better it will become.” Hosie said.

One big difference businesses can do is to consider how they would manage and support a transgender employee before a team member shares that they’re transgender. Hosie notes that knowing your employer will be supportive makes a lot of transgender people’s journey much easier.

“Having a proactive statement or policy in advance is a good idea.” Hosie said. “As I say in the podcast, when I came out my employer had nothing in place.”

“You have to be flexible because everyone is different, some people may want time off to go away and make some changes, other people will be happy transitioning in the workplace, some people want to make a big deal out of it, others it won’t be a big thing. You have to work with people.” Hosie said.

Hosie’s advice for anyone about to tell their employer about their plans to transition is be confident.

“Get the support you need to go into it, understand what your legal rights are.” Hosie said, noting that WA has some of the weakest laws for protecting transgender employees.

Hosie makes the closing point that businesses can be proactive and establish great practices, rather than simply doing the minimum required under law.


Subscribe to The Few Who Do on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and the SBS Radio App.





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