'Trans-parency In The Workplace' Study Reveals Transgender Employees Are More Productive After Disclosing Gender Identity

11/30/2011 06:02 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Though their community is often considered a stigmatized one, transgender people who choose to disclose their identities in their workplaces are both happier and more committed to their jobs, a new study has revealed.

Published in the December issue of the Journal of Vocational Behavior, the study -- cleverly titled "Trans-parency in the Workplace: How the Experiences of Transsexual Employees Can Be Improved" -- is thought to be one of the first forms fo empirical research on the transgender experience in the workplace, according to one of its co-authors. A total of 88 transgender employees were polled in order to determine what factors "impact their job satisfaction and organizational commitment."

Perhaps not surprisingly, the more open they were about their gender identity, the happier and more productive they were at work generally. But, as Campus Progress writer Shay O'Reilly notes, "There are limitations to the study: It was not a random sample, with participants recruited at a transgender conference and online (a frequent study methodology for reporting on the LGBT community), and the study did not take into account causality... the researchers acknowledged that transgender people who do not care if they are fired -- that is, who show little concern for the costs of transferring jobs -- might be more likely to disclose their transgender status." The report also states that transgender men might have an easier time disclosing their identities than transgender women, and acknowledged challenges in finding an accepting workplace overall.

“It’s important for individuals to have a consistent identity in the workplace and at home,” Larry Martinez, a co-author of the study and Rice University graduate student, is quoted as saying. “Having a strong support system at home can give transsexual employees the courage to disclose to their colleagues in the workplace.”

One transgender blogger for the Montreal Gazette, identified only as Jillian, echoed those sentiments: "But 'coming out' at work and being accepted by colleagues has brought me out in so many ways...I wish I could have done it years ago...heck, I’d be running the country now."

In another breakthrough for the transgender community, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) called for doctors to prepare to provide routine treatments and screenings to transgender people, or else refer them to other physicians, as part of an overall effort to address the significant health care disparities facing the community.

"It would be wonderful if all transgender patients had the resources to be seen in a specialized clinic, but the reality is that many forgo care because they don't," Dr. Eliza Buyers, a former member of The College's Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, is quoted as saying. "By increasing the number of ob-gyns providing care to transgender patients we can help improve the overall health of the transgender community."