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Today is Thursday, June 26, 2008


"Is It Time to Add Gender Identity to Your EEO Policy?"

Society for Human Resource Management Provides Resource for Employers


I'm writing to share with you an exciting new article, entitled "Is It Time to Add Gender Identity to Your EEO Policy?" by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world's largest association devoted to human resource management.

GenderPAC has been working with SHRM for the past month to create a resource for its members that outlines the advantages of incorporating gender identity and expression protections into corporate non-discrimination policies, and the specific steps HR professionals can take to implement this policy change.

That tool is now available in the Diversity Focus Area of SHRM's website at http://www.shrm.org/diversity/library_published/nonIC/CMS_016940.asp

Viewing the complete article online requires SHRM membership, so I've excerpted a few key quotes to share with you.

'A workplace should be a safe place for everyone to learn, grow and succeed,' says Riki Wilchins, Executive Director of GenderPAC. 'Any individual who is gender nonconforming has a heightened risk of harassment or discrimination. Its not just a matter of changing because its the right thing to do. It also sends a strong message to employees that locker room type of behavior is not acceptable.' However, the decision to add gender identity protection also tells the world that workplace diversity is welcome, Wilchins says. 'And theres evidence that, in a knowledge economy, knowledge workers are drawn to companies that embrace diversity because its good for innovation.'

"Ben Hladilek, [HR business partner at JP Morgan Chase in New York, one of the early organizations to add gender identity protection to its policy], agrees: 'What we have found in our recruiting efforts is that individuals will often look for signals about what a culture is like; having gender identity protection signals we are a diversity leader and are serious about providing an inclusive environment.'"

"Wilchins says the common thread among the companies with gender identity policies is that they are all diversity leaders. Diversity leadership pays--it attracts good people and it creates value for customers and shareholders... 'A lot of companies have not done it because its something new,' Wilchins says. 'But the goalposts are moving and, increasingly, intolerant behavior on gender is illegal and actionable.'"

To learn how you can work with GenderPAC to help add gender identity and expression to your company's non-discrimination policy, visit us at www.gpac.org/workplace.

For Equality,

Riki Wilchins
Executive Director

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