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Equality monitoring

Why is it necessary to collect information about transgender equality?

If carried out correctly, monitoring transgender equality can help you to understand the needs of your transgender service users and staff – it can help to make sure that the service you are providing is fit for purpose and that it is effective and efficient. It can help you identify areas for improvement and demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to the principles of the Equality Act 2010, especially the requirements of the Public Sector Duty.

However, the number of transgender people is not currently known accurately and many transgender people are extremely wary of revealing that they are transgender. Therefore it is important to think very carefully about using a range of different methods to collect information about transgender equality. Remember that you can monitor  progress without necessarily trying to count the numbers of individual transgender service users or employees you have. Headcounts of the number trans people you serve or employ are not the only thing – or even the most important thing – to monitor to check your organisation’s progress on transgender equality.

Other matters that can and should be monitored (either alongside headcounts or instead of headcounts) include:

  • Progress against transgender equality action points in your equality scheme action plans or equality outcomes;
  • Types and outcomes of service provision complaints;
  • Take up and outcomes of staff grievance and harassment procedures;
  • Impact of staff equalities training and the amount of transgender equality inclusion within such training;
  • Staff and service user attitudes towards transgender equality and rights;
  • Information from departing service users and staff about why they are leaving;
  • Language used in internal and external communications;
  • Internal and external image of the service;
  • Number of requests to change gender on staff or service user records.

Stonewall Scotland and Scottish Trans Alliance have worked in partnership to create a new good practice guide to LGBT monitoring which includes information on secure data collection; examples of good questions to use; and how to analyse the results to identify actions needed.