A career services office is offering extra support for a student population that might find the job search more difficult than others, writes Cecile Favron for The Peak, the official newspaper for Simon Fraser University (SFU).
There are many challenges that transgender students face when searching for a job, writes Favron. Transgender people are often discriminated against because of their identity, according to a report by Trans PULSE, a Canadian-based organization that helps transgender people with health and social services. Transgender people also face the difficulty of explaining their gender identity when providing references and completing paperwork during the job search, Favron writes.
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Because of the hurdles that transgender students face in the job market, Simon Fraser's career services office is building a guide to help these students with their job search. Administrators plan for the guide to provide advice on creating a resume, preparing for job interviews, and providing references, all based on research and the input of local non-profits who work with the transgender community, Favron writes. The guide will also inform students of their rights as job seekers and as employees, as well as provide advice about which name to use on certain documents.
In addition to being a resource for transgender students, administrators hope it will also serve as a guide for career services advisors who help students with the job search process.
The career guide will be completed and made available virtually during the fall semester at Simon Fraser, according to Edna Batengas, a faculty engagement outreach coordinator at the institution who is working on the guide. In the meantime, a discussion group hosted by an on-campus organization called Out on Campus will take place for transgender students to share their feedback on what is in the guide so far. "We want to have this transgender discussion group so that we can actually hear experiences from transgender students and understand what they are going through," says Batengas (Favron, The Peak, 7/24).
Also see: Creating gender-inclusive restrooms on campus
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