Empowering transgender job seekers into the workforce

MatchWorks has teamed up with Fitted for Work to develop tailored employment support for transgender job seekers in Western Melbourne.

Transgender people face many barriers to employment. Low confidence and recognition of prior employment or qualifications due to name or gender changes are some of the challenges faced. The small-group sessions chaired by advocate and public speaker, Michelle Sheppard, are giving transwomen a broader voice in the employment sector.

“Transwomen often experience isolation, abuse and discrimination in the community. This has an enormous impact on their ability to find work and live a financially stable life,” Michelle said.

“We need to challenge common perceptions around typical work roles for transgender women. We also need to start highlighting positive examples of working transwomen who are valued in the workplace. In addition to the economic benefits, helping transwomen find meaningful work in a supportive environment is another way we can positively support their health and wellbeing.”

Transgender advocate, Michelle Sheppard with MatchWorks consultant, Wolfgang Web

MatchWorks consultant, Wolfgang Web said community education is key to influencing better employment outcomes for transgender people.

“Everyone has something to offer. Part of our role is to help employers recognise and value difference and diversity within their teams,” Wolfgang said.

“We are listening first to learn how our teams can provide better support. With greater insight and understanding, MatchWorks will be better equipped to help build workplaces where transgender job seekers are valued. We will also be able to find more opportunities where transwomen can reach their full potential.”

Monthly sessions are currently running in various MatchWorks sites across Western Melbourne. Learnings will be integrated into more locations across Australia.

Participants have the opportunity to connect with others in a similar situation, and hear from speakers including:

  • life coaches
  • transgender liaison officers from Victoria Police who share how they can can work together with the LGBTI community to make a difference.

For more information, email wolfgang.web@matchworks.com.au