Lessons learned in the first year of QMUNITY’s Employment Program 

  1. Queer and Trans people have reported feeling more mentally prepared to enter the workforce when provided with accessible information on subjects like workers and trans rights. When people can make informed decisions, this can build capacity for self-advocacy and give people a feeling of agency. 
  1. Employers who offer sick days show a commitment to preventing burnout in the workplace. Clients have seen this as a signal that the employer has an understanding of neurodiversity and accommodations. 
  1. Employment spaces that have accessible and gender-neutral washrooms can foster a work environment where people feel safe and comfortable with their basic human functions. Clients have shared that this access is hugely important in lowering their anxiety about attending work. 
  1. Employers having visible signs of supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community helps job seekers to feel less anxious when engaging in their job search. Some examples clients have shared are seeing pronoun pins, DEI policies on job postings, and employers displaying safer space decals in their workplace entrances.
  1. Organizations that have benefit packages and HR policies that reflect the diverse intersections of their employees can attract underrepresented groups in employment. Some examples of this are gender-affirming leave, counseling coverage, wellness benefits, and inclusive definitions of family.
  1. When 2SLGBTQIA+ folks see themselves represented in leadership roles, it provides them with a real-world example of being Queer and successful in employment. People have reported this has increased their confidence and mental well-being around employment.

Summary:

We at PRISM acknowledge that systemic barriers affect the mental health of 2SLGBTQIA+ people and their access to employment. In our first year we’ve had a view into how peer based programing empowers and builds confidence in our community members. We are not given a rule book on how to navigate systems as Queer & Trans folk, but when we work together to uphold autonomy and dignity, people are able to make confident, informed decisions about their employment. 

In the interest of supporting each other, sharing resources and advocating for our place, here are some resources that we can help you with:

If you’d like to participate in the PRISM program, head here to watch the info session and enroll.

If you’re an employer reading this, click here to access our education program!

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