Transforming Spaces, Welcoming Places: Transgender Women’s Inclusion in the Philippines’ BPO Industry
Despite signing multiple international human rights accords, the country does not always support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The purpose of this research is to determine what factors contribute to make a transgender woman feel accepted, free, and safe at work in Metro Manila business process outsourcing (BPO) companies and how these factors can be used to enhance the companies’ current diversity and inclusion initiatives and policies, as outlined in the framework. Interviews with transgender women, human resource (HR) managers, transgender women groups, and government officials were conducted. Results showed that transgender women were accepted and encouraged to be “themselves” in BPOs. A gender-neutral bathroom and increased
perks for LGBT employees protected them from discrimination. They felt free and had a voice at work since management supported them. Finally, they felt comfortable working in a professional setting with promised career progression, supervision, and protection through shuttle services, security personnel, and anti-discrimination laws. Building a gender-neutral washroom, allowing for a relaxed dress code, and forming support groups are just a few ways BPO companies can improve diversity and inclusion programs and make transgender women employees feel safe and accepted at work.