Hello. Welcome to TransFocus Consulting.
We provide transgender resources to policy makers, employers and leaders across diverse sectors.
Whether you are looking to support an employee who is transitioning their gender in the workplace, or ensure your Diversity & Inclusion policy is up-to-date, we are here to help.
We bring unique expertise and a pragmatic and collaborative approach. Together, we can assist your team to connect transgender inclusion to the broader benefit of all employees and customers or clients.
The nexus of human rights and good business practice.
Align with Leading Best Practices
In November 2015 the Prime Minister instructed the Minister of Justice and Attorney General in a Letter of Mandate “to add gender identity as a prohibited ground for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.” Recently, on 16 May 2016, the government tabled Bill C-16 in the House of Commons which, if this legislation is passed, will provide full protections for transgender people in Canada. This would further strengthen existing case law. Read more in this CBC article about what the bill will do for trans Canadians and how TransFocus can support organizations in aligning with this emerging reality.
Legal action can be devastating to your organization’s reputation and your people, not to mention costly. We work with you to ensure considerations of gender identity is embedded in your business objectives, policies and practices.
Leverage Untapped Talent Pool
A survey of 6,450 transgender people across the United States found that there are higher rates of unemployment among transgender people, coupled with substantially higher educational levels. This represents an untapped, highly qualified talent pool. We can assist with recruitment and retention strategies to help you access this skilled workforce.
Inclusive Services Build Brand Loyalty
To align with its strategic priority of “Parks and Recreation for All”, in 2014 the Vancouver Park Board implemented universal change rooms, inclusive recreational programming and a public awareness campaign that has gone a long way to build trust and loyalty among transgender patrons.
We can work with you to identify the potential barriers in your products and services related to gender identity that may be costing you customers.
Whether you are seeking quick advice or a comprehensive systems approach to transgender inclusion within your organization, we can design a program together to meet your specific needs.
Despite best intentions, many organizations are still
struggling to bring their team up to speed on the
particular needs of transgender people. When a situation
arises with a transgender employee, constituent or
customer, we can work collaboratively with your team to develop a plan that addresses the issue at hand and
establish prevention measures for the future.
The TransFocus Score
Want to ensure your Diversity & Inclusion and other
Human Resource policies adequately address transgender
issues and interests? Curious to know how your policies are measuring up in practice? We can conduct a score-based assessment and provide your team with a report and recommendations.
For many people, transgender rights are new
territory. Terminology and concepts of gender
identity may feel overwhelming, if not intimidating.
We bring an open and friendly approach to provide
your team with a safe space to practice tools, language
and scenarios. We believe we are all learning together.
We have delivered dynamic and engaging
presentations to senior leadership teams,
professional associations and municipal governments.
We have spoken at recreation symposia, health summits, professional networking events and more. If you are
looking for fresh and cutting edge content at your next convention, workshop or conference, consider booking
We began working together in July 2013 as part of the Trans and Gender Variant Inclusion Working Group tasked with developing recommendations to improve transgender inclusion at the facilities of the Vancouver Park Board. We co-led an extensive community consultation that employed a variety of methods: focus groups, surveys and polls to engage transgender residents, Park Board staff and patrons in the recommendation process.
What emerged was a rich understanding and insight into the many areas where transgender patrons experience barriers accessing public space and programs balanced with the needs of other patrons, such as those with disabilities, families and religious needs. Drawing upon each of our professional expertise, we synthesized the broad range of issues that surfaced to develop a comprehensive set of interconnected measures. The set of 77 recommendations the working group developed and advanced was unanimously accepted by Park Commissioners on April 28, 2014. We have been actively involved in the process of implementing the recommendations within the context of operational realities.
My education in business at Western University prepared me to become a leader in understanding social impacts within the context of organizational bottom lines. With this knowledge, I have served LGBT communities as an accomplished executive leader for more than 20 years. My focus has centred on organizational development and building high-impact, collaborative teams. As the co-founder and Executive Director of Out in Schools, I led the development and design of creative, relevant and engaging LGBT curriculum for high schools across British Columbia. Tides Canada named Out in Schools as one of the Top 10 Organizations in 2011 to build innovative solutions to complex social issues.
Kai Scott, M.A.
I am a senior social scientist educated in the field of International Development with over 10 years’ experience developing and managing complex and long-term processes involving multiple stakeholders with varied objectives, capacities and interests. I collect, manage and assemble robust data sets from multiple sources into coherent and clear reports to inform direction and decisions on major mining and energy projects. My experience has focused on increasing organizational capacity among resource development companies to effectively and meaningfully engage with Aboriginal groups across Canada by identifying issues, interests, concerns and rights using a variety of field- and desk-based methods and tools.
“Both Drew and Kai were extremely knowledgeable on the topic and provided a quick and easy transition guideline to apply to the workplace. They also hosted roundtable discussions with different employee groups which was very well received. What I appreciated most was their openness and courage to talk about their personal journey that really helped to highlight the multiple dimensions of gender identity.”
~ M. Narang, HR Business Partner
"We engaged TransFocus Consulting to conduct a stakeholder consultation with departmental representatives, as well as selected advisory committees and service providers. The result was a comprehensive, well-written report with detailed recommendations on how we can continue enhancing trans*, gender variant and two-spirit inclusion at the City, from programs and services to public spaces and facilities. Both Kai and Drew are highly regarded subject matter experts with a very thoughtful, collaborative style. It was a pleasure to work with them and I would certainly look forward to doing so again."
~ A. Nickerson, Director of Equity and Employment Office
TransFocus in the Media
Vancouver Sun on July 28, 2016
"Within our education and awareness sessions, a really big piece that we bring to people is the permission to ask questions and make mistakes."
Roundhouse Radio on August 12, 2016
"During the training sessions, we are unravelling gender, including the very limited concepts of gender - primarily that gender is a binary system [of man and woman], when actually it’s a spectrum. When we start to talk about these concepts openly and honestly, we find it unlocks many other doors where we had previously been at an impasse on issues.”
Globe & Mail on July 13, 2016
“I think you want to maintain the momentum but you also have to temper that with some realism – that sometimes things are going to take a little time because you want to take the time get them right.”
Situations in which we can help
An employee has shared with you their intention to transition their gender in the workplace. We work with you and the employee to develop a supportive transition plan and provide tailored training to the work groups directly connected to the transitioning employee.
You have received a customer complaint about a transgender person who was using the women’s washroom. Facilities, such as washrooms and change rooms, can be flashpoints for conflict. We can assess your current inventory and provide innovative recommendations for modifications at reasonable costs. As well, our training workshops equip staff with tools and language to mediate such conflicts.
You conduct frequent surveys with the people you serve. You want to be respectful of diverse gender identities but at some point you are concerned about losing the ability to make informed business decisions. We can provide standardized options that balance inclusivity and pragmatic data management needs.
Marketing + Communications
You want transgender people who use your products and services to feel more included and welcome. We offer consultation and support to strengthen your communications materials and strategies to build loyalty among this unique market and the broader LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) communities.
Products + Services
A transgender man has closed his account with you because your call centre continued to address him as “madame”. We can work with you to assess and tailor your customer service scripts, processes and protocols toward broader inclusivity of gender identities.