Female-to-Male (FtM) transgender employees in Australia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Recent years have seen greater recognition of the right to non-discrimination in employment on the basis of gender identity in both international human rights law, and Australian national and state laws. However, there is a lack of employment-focused research on transgender people broadly, and Female to Male (FtM) transgender people particularly—existing studies typically focus on clinical concerns for MtF populations. This chapter reports on a 2013 national online study of 273 FtM transgender Australians, which combined an anonymous online survey gathering basic data with a communal discussion-board allowing participants to offer deeper discussions (using a pseudonym of their choice). The project was developed with a reference group and key gender centres and online support networks assisted in recruitment. Participants ranged in age from 16 to 64 and mostly identified simply as male, but other identities (transsexual male, genderqueer and so on) were represented. The majority were working (full-time, part-time or in an apprenticeship) on a broad range of incomes. However, the research revealed a higher portion of unemployment than in previous Australian studies. The qualitative data revealed clear obstacles to employment and promotion for FtM people; the fear of coming out as transgender, transphobia in the workspace and in recruitment, the desire to avoid work during transition, uncertainty around the need to reveal gender history in a job or police check applications, and fear of exposure in certain environments. Leadership had a pivotal role in whether workplaces were transphobic or supportive and best-practice leadership are outlined. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the urgent need for workplace equity training measures and related research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSexual orientation and transgender issues in organizations
Subtitle of host publicationglobal perspectives on LGBT workforce diversity
EditorsThomas Köllen
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319296234
ISBN (Print)9783319296210
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • transgender
  • FtM
  • employment
  • employee
  • discrimination


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