Transgender people face multiple barriers to employment, and may also face difficulties gaining recognition for their prior employment or qualifications due to name or gender identification changes.
The unique support needs of transgender people have often been overlooked by employment services, resulting in under-representation in the workforce.
Recognising these challenges, the Victorian government has announced it will run a pilot program supporting transgender women into employment.
The government is investing more than $227,000 through the Jobs Victoria Innovation Fund to not-for-profit women’s organisation Fitted for Work to identify barriers and strengthen relationships with transgender service providers and employers.
The program will provide 200 transwomen and gender diverse jobseekers with tailored support to gain work or transition while at work, improving their economic security.
The program, developed in consultation with Gender and Sexuality Commissioner Ro Allen, will provide services such as mentoring, outfitting services, work readiness workshops, resume support and networking. It will also connect participants to health, legal and financial support.
Fitted for Work assists women who are experiencing disadvantage and helps them into employment by providing advice on presentation, outfitting, resume writing and interview preparation. It has already helped more than 35,000 women to secure and maintain employment over the last 14 years.
“It takes courage to live openly and authentically and Fitted for Work’s pilot transgender women program is another step to a better, more inclusive Victoria,” said Minister for Equality Martin Foley.
“This funding will help overcome barriers to employment for transgender women and gender diverse jobseekers and assist them to find good, stable employment.”