Note: The Harvard Business Review blog is now up.
I remember reading in 1996 an advice book for transsexuals that read like Cassandra and Nostradamus reminiscing about the End of Days: "You're starting over as a woman, so you need to hide your past life as a man. Say goodbye to your career. Prepare to leave your job and find something with half the pay. Cut out half of the things on your resume, lest you be outed. Count yourself lucky not to be out on the street."
This is but a sample of the type of advice I received prior to my transition. It was right on the money.
It's still on the money. Most employers remain ignorant and/or somewhat hostile to policy changes for transgender workers. I have received hundreds of emails from transgender workers who are having difficulty getting their employers to treat them right. Nonetheless, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hundreds of leading companies have now put policies in place to address issues of gender identity in the workplace. And tomorrow, Harvard Business Review begins an in-depth examination of the topic.
First, HBR's blog is posting my brief discussion of the recent study by Schilt and Wiswall on the gender wage gap, using data about transgender workplace experiences, published in the Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy (recently discussed in Time Magazine and the New York Times blog). You can read the blog post and comments at blogs.harvardbusiness.org.
Bilerico editor Alex Blaze recently weighed in on the Schilt and Wiswall study with some incisive analysis. (There are also some good posts on Workplace Prof Blog, Examiner.com, and FairerScience.org
Second, HBR is publishing a case study in its December edition that will look at a hypothetical situation involving a transgender employee who is transitioning on the job. The case was written by Loren Gary of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Brian Elliot. I was pleased to be able to assist in preparing the case. There are three commentators, all from high-profile companies (Raytheon, Prudential and Boeing), who have addressed issues of transition in the workplace. A link to the abbreviated interactive version of the Harvard Business Review case is available .
It's gratifying to see that the top business minds in the country understand that diversity leadership is not about "political correctness." Yes, it's the right thing to do, but it's also about competitiveness in the global marketplace.
[Note: If you'd like to read more on the Harvard Business Review case study, click here for the next post in this series at The Bilerico Project. ]