The importance of including all LGBT + acronyms - English Version

Published on : 26-06-2020
  • Sodexo On-site

    For companies, before simply considering transsexual candidates for their vacancies, it is necessary to implement clear inclusion policies, debates on the topic among employees.


    In the month of LGBT + pride, debates are growing on the importance of including this audience in the job market. However, it is a consensus that the inclusion of transgender and transvestites in the labor market is still the biggest challenge and the issue needs to be discussed in a broader aspect. All forms of discrimination in our society - such as homophobia, transphobia, lesbophobia, biphobia, sexism, xenophobia and even racism - are often interconnected to ignorance and prejudice, which have a negative impact on the struggle for the expansion of diversity and practices that they must be applied by companies in all stages of the labor market, from the selection process to integration in the corporate environment.

    And this impact is not only in the private sphere, since most public policies in Brazil aimed at the transgender population are aimed at preventing diseases and combating sexual exploitation, leaving aside policies for inclusion in education and work. This is visible when we observe, for example, a study carried out by the NGO Transgender Europe, which cites the direct relationship between the high rates of violence against transsexuals in Brazil and Latin America and the exclusion of this group from the formal job market.

    Thus, the lack of opportunity in studies and informality at work, limits the alternatives for this group. According to a survey carried out by the National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals (Antra), based on data collected in the different regions of the entity, 90% of trans people resort to prostitution at least at some point in their lives. In view of these figures, it is noted that the marginalization of transgender people is still widespread and that it will not cease until there is a broad front of discussion about the role of companies in the face of these figures.

    Added to all this is the fact that life expectancy for transvestites and transsexuals in Brazil - the country that kills its population the most by transphobia - is only 35 years. According to a study carried out by TransRespect in 72 countries, Brazil has been responsible for almost 40% of the 2,600 murders worldwide in the past ten years.

    This reality is also reflected in the job market and, unfortunately, it often stimulates the prejudice that arises from misinformation, which influences the decisions of leaders, who are less likely to hire a trans person. This shows that talking about the role of companies and leaders in this scenario is more than urgent: it is mandatory. After all, diversity and inclusion are beautiful words, impactful and arouse hope in the LGBT + community, but they cannot go unaccompanied by concrete actions.

    For companies, before simply considering transsexual candidates for their vacancies, it is necessary to implement clear inclusion policies, debates on the topic among employees and transparent communication. The concept of diversity in the labor market is an immutable reality. Inclusion, on the other hand, a term of applicability that is still rare in the Brazilian corporate environment, is a choice, which means integrating de facto minorities, with broad and unrestricted access to debates, positions and benefits.

    Therefore, as a professional, I am proud to lead the Diversity and Inclusion area in a company that encompasses these differences and offers an inclusive environment. At Sodexo, we do not only have internal initiatives, but a nucleus dedicated entirely to the study, analysis and implementation of processes in favor of inclusion and, with five focuses: gender, generations, culture and origins, people with disabilities and sexual orientation and identity of gender.

    We have been working hard to promote inclusion, not only in the professional field, but also targeting other areas that make up society. In 2017, we signed the Letter of Adhesion to the LGBT Business and Rights Forum and we were recognized as a company that values the importance of this issue, receiving the Seal of Human Rights and Diversity, designed by the City of São Paulo.

    It is exciting when I see that employees have this feeling of belonging. The demonstrations of recognition and appreciation when they see that inclusion is not just a beautiful expression, but a set of actions that make the insertion purposes of the LGBT + community perennial and concrete, make us increasingly work to bring environments to the labor market. more diverse, plural and receptive.

    In the bathrooms of offices, for example, there is a sign outside and inside each toilet (woman and man), with the phrase “this bathroom is for all men, more important than its reflection is how you see yourself” and “this bathroom is for all women, more important than your reflection is how you see yourself ”. When we offer the option of choice, we open spaces for everyone to feel included and respected, and guarantee the recognition of gender identity and the right to use the bathroom that people feel comfortable with. It is a simple action, but it has a big impact on the way everyone sees their role in the company.

    As part of this inclusive environment, and in celebration of the LGBTI + Pride month (June), we conducted an internal campaign, which among other actions, includes the installation of stickers on the mirrors of the bathrooms of all our offices, promoting respect and inclusion. These are intended to give legal certainty and visibility to people's right to use the bathroom according to their self-recognized gender identity, thus fighting discrimination and prejudice within the company, promoting the principle of professional equality at all levels of the organization. The stickers have a QR Code that leads to the page on Sodexo_Net that explains all the terms used in them

    These recognitions are important for our company, but even more relevant for the more than 50 transgender employees who work at Sodexo. Inspiring other companies to adopt inclusion practices and policies is also part of our role in transforming society into a multiple and plural environment. More than working to give equal opportunities to people in the LGBT + community, we must encourage the daily struggle to eliminate violence, prejudice and intolerance. The feeling of belonging and respect is a right for everyone and must be combined with the professional and personal development of LGBT + people, especially transvestites and transsexuals. We need to come together to transform this sad reality and achieve a more just society, where there is respect among all. Each of us has an important role in this construction.

    Lilian Rauld is head of Diversity and Inclusion at Sodexo On-site Brasil and co-author of the book “Insertion of Talent and Workforce of Refugee Professionals in Brazilian Organizations”

    NOTE: Article already published in press portals:

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