• Hello. Welcome to TransFocus Consulting.

    We provide transgender resources to policy makers, employers and leaders across diverse sectors.

    Whether you are looking to ensure your customer washrooms, services and practices are gender inclusive, or supporting an employee who is transitioning their gender in the workplace, 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.

  • Our Services

    We work collaboratively with your team to identify where there may be current gaps and opportunities to strengthen your organizational commitment to transgender inclusion across key service areas. Whether you are seeking a comprehensive systems approach across multiple service areas, or advice to address a single issue, we can provide feedback and recommendations that are practical to resource and implement.

     

    Human Resources

    TransFocus has developed Workplace Gender Transition Guidelines that include a comprehensive checklist to guide HR Managers when supporting a transitioning employee. We work together with HR and the employee to support the process and can provide Rountable sessions for immediate co-workers and managers.

    Facilities: Washrooms

    TransFocus can conduct a walk through assessment of your current facilities and provide innovative solutions for modifications with an eye to cost, as well as, recommended designs for inclusive washroom signage. We include a developed template for an accompanying internal communications plan to equip staff with tools to respond to potential questions and champion the conversation.

    Gender Data

    Many organizations collect gender data to inform business decisions, product and services and to measure employee equity goals. Yet often gender response categories have been limited to "female" or "male" which may exclude transgender people. We work with your team to understand organizational objectives and provide tailored solutions that balance inclusivity and pragmatic data management needs.

     

    Products + Services

    TransFocus supports your organization to ensure your products and services are not unintentionally excluding transgender customers. We can assess and tailor your customer service scripts, processes and protocols toward broader inclusion across diverse genders.

    Marketing + Communications

    Many organizations are interested to include inclusive language and visuals that reflect gender diversity. 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.

    Training

    For many people, transgender rights are new territory. Terminology and concepts 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. Sessions can be tailored to meet the needs of Senior Leadership, HR Managers and frontline employees. We believe we are all learning together.

  • Case Study on Gender Data: "Being Seen, Being Counted"

     

    TransFocus was recently contracted by the BC Council of Admissions and Transfers (BCCAT) to determine the best option for expanding gender categories on university applications across British Columbia. TransFocus undertook a multi-stakeholder engagement process with interviews, focus groups, and surveys, involving a total of 109 stakeholders and informants. They included voices, experiences, and perspectives from trans, non-binary, and cisgender students, Two Spirit community members, registrars from British Columbia, Ontario, and the United States, government agencies, and software providers.

     

    Through the research, TransFocus identified six different options for expanded gender categories. These were then rigorously tested using a technique called Structured Decision-Making. This approach uses indicators to rate and rank diverse, and sometimes competing, objectives to transparently demonstrate the recommended option.

     

    The recommended two-part question (as depicted in the diagram below) performed well on a number of factors, including being 1) inclusive of both binary trans and non-binary students, with 2) moderate ease of data management, 3) high level of data applicability, 4) ease of reporting to government, and 5) supported by software providers.

     

    Overall, we discovered that a sole focus on the objective of inclusivity did not yield the option that would realistically produce changes at institutions. That is, appearing to be inclusive came at the expense of actual, meaningful data collection and application. Other factors needed to be considered for a more sustainable and workable solution to emerge.

     

    The Executive Summary of the report can be viewed here. Contact us for the full report and to learn more about how to meaningfully apply the results of this report within your organization.

     

     

  • Our Story

    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.

    Drew Dennis

    Pronouns: They/Them

    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.

    Pronouns: He/Him

    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.

  • Clients

    “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

    "We engaged Drew and Kai to review the design and communications plan for our inclusive washroom signage update. What we received was open, honest dialogue, as well as an understanding of all aspects of inclusion. Working with TransFocus was a pleasure, and allowed us to feel confident regarding the final selections. Drew and Kai were passionate about assisting the process and always just a phone call away. The communications tools provided were a great help in deepening staff understanding of the gender spectrum."

    ~ S. Gill, Facility Planning Officer

    "Working with the BC Registrars Association, we retained TransFocus to explore options for expanding gender declaration in BC post-secondary institutions. The project required extensive desk-based research spanning a number of jurisdictions and sectors, a student survey, and interviews with a wide range of stakeholders. The report considered a range of organizational, technical and reporting requirements, balancing these with student needs. The options presented were constructive and carefully reasoned. I was impressed with the professionalism, subject-matter expertise, and communication skills that TransFocus brought to the project, and would be pleased to work with Drew and Kai again."

    ~ R. Adamoski, Director, Research and Admissions

    Other Clients:

    • BC Law Institute
    • CA Technologies
    • Collingwood Neighbourhood House
    • D-Wave: The Quantum Computing Company
    • Hostelling International Canada, Pacific Region
    • Independent Schools Association of BC
    • Justice Institute of BC
    • Lunapads
    • Miller Thomson
    • SNC-Lavalin
    • TELUS
    • University of British Columbia
    • WorksafeBC
  • 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.”

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