Episode 42: The outsider within: transgender in the workplace

June 15, 2014

"As a male creative director I started to notice differences in the way women were treated. But when I was a woman I didn’t really notice, and I figured, oh well, it’s probably because I’m junior – maybe that’s why I’m being treated that way.” - Chris Edwards

"One of the guys applied for this high tech job as a woman, didn’t get the job, re-applied three months later after he transitioned, with a different name, and then got hired." - Kristen Schilt

Kristen SchiltSociologist Kristen Schilt spent years researching transgender men's experiences at work. What does that have to do with women and the workplace? A lot, it turns out. After all, these guys began their working lives presenting themselves as female. Then they transitioned, and suddenly, work was a whole different place. Despite having the same abilities, they suddenly had more authority. Colleagues assumed they were more competent. Sometimes they even landed jobs they couldn't get before. 21 minutes.

Chris EdwardsFurther reading: Kristen Schilt is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Chicago. The Clayman Institute for Gender Research has more on her research on transgender men here, including a video of Kristen talking about some of her findings.

Chris Edwards writes about transgender issues for The Huffington Post.

I found out about Kristen's work through Anne Loehr, a leadership coach in Washington, DC. She writes about the workplace for The Huffington Post.



Welcome to The Broad Experience, the show about women, the workplace, and success. I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte.

This time on the show, what can we learn about attitudes to women in the workplace from people who have experienced work as both genders?                 

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