• It’s important that agency leaders create and cultivate a culture that is as inclusive and comfortable for their employees as possible.
• This was something that Andy Thornton was striving to find as a trans man before getting a job at digital marketing agency Noisy Little Monkey.
• He’ll be telling us his story and explaining just how agency leaders can go about ‘getting it right’.
“My manager in my last job said, ‘Let’s talk about the elephant in the room’. I genuinely didn’t know what he meant. And then he said: ‘You’re trans’. I didn’t know I was the elephant in the room.”
Noisy Little Monkey’s Andy Thornton speaks openly about being trans, but what can employers do to create an inclusive culture that makes people like Andy feel comfortable and part of the team, rather than a D&I box tick?
“It was really important to me when looking for a job that it was with an employer who would be inclusive and who would be happy for me to challenge them if they got something wrong – and who is actually committed to that. Jon (NLM’s director) used to get my pronouns wrong, so he gave me a megaphone to shout at him every time he did.”
Andy continues: “There are times where people say something or do something wrong, but you don’t have to get it right all the time. You just have to be trying and listening. We’re not all angry Twitter accounts. A trans person is probably not going to kick off and scream at you if you get something wrong.”
“It’s about sensitivity and not going to the only trans employee you have and asking them what they think about a trans issue in the news, just because they’re trans.”
Andy will be joining us to talk about all of this, including:
- Understanding who trans people are.
- What to do when you or someone else ‘gets it wrong’.
- Understanding the issues trans people face – and how to make them feel included.
“For a lot of queer people who are already really scared about being excluded, or taking up too much space for being the trans employee, there are lots of things its helpful for agency owners to know, so they can make it right before somebody has to point out they’ve got it wrong,” says Andy.
Not every trans, non-binary or LGBTQIA+ person is the same, but being more inclusive and sensitive is a great place to start – and it doesn’t take having openly trans employees or clients now to have these conversations.
Come and join us as we chat this through in more detail with Andy about how employers can be more trans-inclusive – and don’t be afraid to bring questions.