Transgender Guidelines

Gender Transition, Identity and Expression


U.S. Employee and Manager Handbook from the Office of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Transgender Guidelines

Transgender people are experiencing increasing visibility with heightened attention in the media, evolving public opinion and improving awareness in the workplace. 

More and more companies are advocating enhanced legal protections for their transgender employees and the broader LGBT+ community. However, many transgender people, particularly transgender women and ethnically/racially diverse transgender people still face significant barriers across the dimensions of wellbeing—emotional, physical, social and financial. 

Key Facts

  • 0.6%
    An estimated 1.4 million people — around 0.6 percent of U.S. adults — identify as transgender (see footnote 1).
  • 90%
    Ninety percent of transgender people report experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job (see footnote 2).
  • 78%
    The vast majority — 78 percent — of those who transitioned from one gender to the other reported they felt more comfortable at work and their job performance improved (see footnote 3).

The following laws and policies offer protection for transgender people in employment (see footnote 4):

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces this law, has concluded that discrimination because an employee or job applicant is transgender or gender nonconforming constitutes sex discrimination.
  • Several state and local laws explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.
  • U.S. Executive Orders extend existing federal nondiscrimination protections to LGBT+ people, prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination by federal government contractors and subcontractors, and restore transgender people’s right to serve in the U.S. military. A presidential memorandum directs U.S. executive departments and agencies engaged abroad to ensure U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT+ people around the world.

Identity, Expression, Sex and Orientation Spectrums


Transitioning can involve changes along the identity, expression, sex and/or orientation spectrums.



Gender identity is how you, in your head, identify as a woman or man — which may be different from your sex assigned at birth.


Gender expression is how you demonstrate your gender (based on traditional gender roles) through the way you act, dress, behave and interact.


Biological sex refers to the objectively measurable organs, hormones and chromosomes of an individual.


Sexual orientation is who you are physically, spiritually and emotionally attracted to.

Definition of Terms

Gender Nonconforming is a state in which a person has physical and/or behavioral characteristics that do not correspond to societally imposed gender stereotypes.

Our U.S. Employee and Manager Handbook is a resource created to better support transgender employees and their managers and employee allies. It provides helpful background on transgender identity and expression, definitions that establish a common language to have productive conversations, and guidance and tips to help employees and managers understand and navigate the journey and process.

1 Flores, Andrew R., Herman, Jody L., Gates, Gary J., and Brown, Taylor N.T. (June 2016) How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States. The Williams Institute, University of California Los Angeles School of Law: (Accessed August 2018)


2 Understanding issues facing transgender Americans:


3 Grant, J.M., Mottet, L.A., and Tanis, J. (2011) Injustice at Every Turn: A report of the National Transgender Discrimination Society. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality:



Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


At BNY Mellon, our journey goes beyond leadership. We’ve set our sights on being the best and it’s our differences—our unique perspectives, experiences and backgrounds—that will get us there.


BNY Mellon’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”) demonstrates a commitment to living our values consistently, pushing ourselves to do better and holding each other accountable—each day, in every interaction and everywhere we operate. In our client-focused trust-based business, DEI is more than non-negotiable ideals; they are central to enhancing engagement, performance and growth. We do our best work and achieve our full potential when we work alongside people who can look at issues from different angles and in an environment where our voices are heard, the playing field is level, and we are treated with dignity and respect.


Visit Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at BNY Mellon to learn more.