5 lessons on coming out as transgender at work

When Symantec engineer Cass Averill transitioned to male six years ago, most companies weren’t sure how to adapt when a transgender employee comes out.

Today, more than 400 U.S. corporations, including Nike and Intel, already offer transgender-inclusive healthcare policies, and nearly 300 have gender-transition guidelines in place, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

But the thousands of companies that haven’t must adapt soon, experts say, or risk discrimination lawsuits.

What should a company do if an employee announces they want to medically transition to a new gender? Symantec’s experience offers important lessons.

Create a “transition” team.

This should include the how to come out as trans at work person, their boss, a member of upper management, a human resources representative and possibly a lawyer or a union representative.