It became apparent that our transgender employees did not have a path forward to orchestrate a gender transition while maintaining their employment status.
Partners HealthCare has taken a bold new step to create an equitable and supportive environment for transgender staff to fully express their gender in the workplace. A new, system-wide Gender Identity/Expression Policy was introduced at a Diversity and Inclusion forum on June 22, 2017.
The new policy clarifies this position, provides definitions of gender identity and addresses issues of confidentiality and privacy as well as restroom/locker use and insurance. In addition, the Partners Office of Diversity and Inclusion has developed a Toolkit for Transitioning Colleagues: What You Need to Know Regarding Gender Identity/Expression. The toolkit addresses logistical, practical and emotional supports for transgender or gender transitioning staff and their managers and colleagues.
The development of the policy incorporates the views and personal experiences of a wide range of employees and advisors like the Fenway Community Health Center to ensure that it not only adhered to state and federal laws, but was thoughtful and sensitive in its approach. The result is a pioneering method.
Turning the policy into action has been one of the main commitments at Partners. For instance, this year for the first time, Partners included transgender markers on its employee engagement survey, which provides all employees the opportunity to identify their gender beyond male and female. Additionally, most Partners hospitals provide gender neutral bathrooms, which benefit transgender patients and people who exist outside of the gender binary.
Over 300 persons have received education in Gender Identity/Gender Expression who are better prepared to serve more than 400 patients who are identified as transgender.
Partners HealthCare joined forces with Freedom for All Massachusetts to defeat ballot question 3 that prevented transgender individuals from accessing public accommodations such as bathrooms, restaurants and transportation platforms.
At Partners HealthCare, we know that diversity, equity and inclusion make us stronger and are essential to our pursuit of excellence as an integrated health care system. Every day we welcome thousands of patients through our doors, interact with diverse communities we serve, and engage with a multifaceted workforce. The identities and experiences of our patients and staff are from all around the world, and we must proactively support these individual’s rights to thrive within Partners. Embracing this DE&I pledge is an essential act for ALL.