ETFO Media Release: Pandemic Magnifies Employment Struggles of Transgender People

The following ETFO media release was posted on November 20, 2020.

Today’s Transgender Day of Remembrance brings heightened awareness that trans workers are struggling to find decent employment in Ontario.

“COVID-19 has been hard on everyone but it has magnified the challenges and marginalization faced by transgender people,” said Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

“It shouldn’t take a pandemic to see that trans people bring value to an organization in terms of diversity, perspectives and skills.”

According to a 2020 study by Trans Pulse Canada of over 2,800 transgender people:

  • Despite high levels of education, half of respondents aged 25+ have a personal income of less than $30,000 per year;
  • 40 per cent are living in a low-income household; and
  • 43 per cent are employed on a permanent full-time basis, while 35 per cent are employed but not in permanent, full-time positions.

Previous employment studies by Trans Pulse show that many have been turned down for a job because of transphobia or suspected transphobia.

“As a society, we cannot continue to add to the isolation, lack of supports for mental and physical health and oppression in areas such as employment faced by transgender people. It’s incumbent on employers to ensure that they are upholding the rights of trans people under the Ontario Human Rights Code,” added Hammond.

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