Simon & Schuster UK is celebrating Transgender Awareness Week this week by following LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall's Diversity Champions programme.
The publisher is focusing efforts on how to better support the transgender community in the workplace by using the charity's resources. The programme includes having company policies reviewed by an expert on LGBTQ inclusion, building networks, and attracting and retaining talent. S&S employees will be encouraged to donate to a LGBTQ+ charity of their choice this week, and the company will match donations made via the ViacomCBS Employee Matching Gifts programme.
Jessica Harris, HR director, said: "We are very excited to be working with Stonewall. There are so many great resources that help us create a more inclusive work environment with understanding and support for all experiences."
Client inventory executive Alex Santos and children's fiction assistant editor Melissa Gitari, part of the team organising the initiatives for Transgender Awareness Week, have invited writer and campaigner Juno Roche to deliver a talk to the company. Roche will speak about their books and campaigns around gender, sexuality and trans lives.
In a joint statement, Gitari and Santos said: "Honouring Transgender Awareness Week is important for us because as allies, it is our duty to educate ourselves. Learning more about the prejudice, discrimination and violence that the transgender community face can go a long way in changing our behaviours and practices to be more inclusive. We have invited the incredible Juno Roche to come and speak with us because they have written extensively and intelligently about body dysphoria, patriarchy and the performative nature of gender, issues that all people, regardless of their gender identity, grapple with."