Dublin Bus: Workplace Gender Transition Policy

Dublin Bus Logo

Business Type: Public Transport Provider
Location: Dublin
No. of Employees: 3,500

Mission Statement:
Dublin Bus Vision
•To provide a transport service where people feel safe, connected and part of sustainable community life in Dublin.
Dublin Bus Mission
•To continuously improve our customers’ experience and increase passenger numbers by ensuring that every journey matters and to increase the number of services offered to our customers.
Dublin Bus Values
• Safety is at the core of all that we do. Every experience our customers and employees have is built on our commitment to safe practices.
• By thinking like a customer we continually strive to enhance our customers experience.
• We embrace and respect diversity among our employees and are committed to providing a fulfilling employment experience.
• We cherish our ability to connect communities and help people to fully participate in society. Our employees and customers are embedded in the community and our values reflect this.

Overview of CSR Initiative:

As part of our commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion among our workforce, Dublin Bus is one of the first organisations in Ireland to introduce a Workplace Gender Transition Policy.

Gender Transition Policy Dublin Bus

Project team:
The policy was drafted by our Employee Development and Equality Executive, who consulted with members of the LGBTQ+ community within Dublin Bus along with other colleagues to get their input and feedback on the policy.

Dublin Bus approached the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) to get input into the draft policy. Feedback was provided by the Chair of TENI, and their former CEO. This was an important and essential step in the process as it provided Dublin Bus with independent expert advice and recommendations from the leaders on trans issues in Ireland.

Resources required:
Time commitment from employees for qualitative research and drafting of policy and from external leaders in the field for their input and feedback.

As we were one of the first organisations in Ireland to introduce a policy of this kind there was a limited amount of knowledge and expertise, both within Dublin Bus and among external organisations, to engage with regarding what should be covered in the policy, how to implement it etc. It was important that the information contained in the document was accurate, appropriate, and considerate of the sensitivities of the subject matter.

This challenge was overcome by engaging with The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network' (GLEN) and TENI during the policy development stage, as well as consulting with colleagues internally and members of the LGBTQ+ community within Dublin Bus.

The policy provides comprehensive information for employees and their managers on gender identity and how to provide a supportive environment for employees transitioning. It supports the achievement of our business objectives of increasing employee engagement to retain a committed workforce, attracting new talent and rewarding customer loyalty.

One of the main objectives of the policy is to foster engagement and encourage dialogue of trans issues within Dublin Bus and in wider society. Since the launch of the policy we have received feedback and engagement via face to face interaction but also through established employee communication networks across all levels of the organisation. This demonstrates that dialogue and awareness has been fostered throughout the company.

A number of other organisations have contacted Dublin Bus for advice and guidance in this area.

Dublin Bus received an award for the policy at the CIPD Ireland Awards 2018, under the Diversity and Inclusion category.

We were nominated for ‘Employer of the Year’ at the GALAs 2017 which celebrate and acknowledge achievements in the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. The nomination was made by the family of an LGBTQ+ employee based on our work in this area in 2017, including the launch of this policy.

TENI has publically stated that the Dublin Bus Workplace Gender Transition Policy and Guidelines are one of the most progressive policies on transgender inclusion in the workplace. They have also said that as Dublin Bus is part of the fabric of our capital city it is encouraging that we both value our transgender employees and are working towards making Dublin a more trans friendly city, and that they are proud to have worked with Dublin Bus to create this policy.

How was/is this initiative promoted?
Dublin Bus launched the policy and guidelines both internally and externally.

Internally, the policy was sent to the Management Team to allow them to become familiar with the policy, and provide an opportunity for dialogue with the HR Department, before it was communicated to all employees. The policy was then communicated to all employees through email, internal posters, brochures, SharePoint site, Yammer, internal newsletter and the Dublin Bus website. Information on the policy has been included in all induction programmes for new employees and the Diversity and Inclusion module in other training programmes.

Externally, the policy was promoted across the company’s social media channels. A press release was issued to media and the policy featured in a number of online and broadcast pieces. The media coverage we received and positive feedback from external stakeholders demonstrates the evolution and strengthening of the Dublin Bus brand by showing that we are modern and inclusive like the communities we operate in.

Our Employee Development and Equality Executive was also asked to speak at the launch of TENI’s ‘Supporting Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace – Guidelines for Employers and Employees’ resource alongside the Chair of TENI, to showcase good practices within the workplace. The resource was launched by Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD who commended Dublin Bus on our progressive policy. The policy is also featured in the TENI guidelines as a case study for developing a workplace gender transition policy.

Do you report on CSR in the Annual Report?

CSR Dimension:

Towards Responsible Business’ Ireland’s National Plan on CSR 2017-2020 identifies 4 core dimensions of CSR – Environment, Community, Workplace and Marketplace.
• Environment - minimising negative environmental impacts
• Community - interaction with your local community partners and organisations
• Workplace - supporting and engaging with your employees
• Marketplace - interaction with your local community partners and organisations.

Please select the dimension(s) that you apply to your CSR Initiative and why?
Workplace and Community
The policy is part of the overall Dublin Bus Diversity and Inclusion Strategy which is designed to ensure an efficient and fulfilling work environment for our employees, to meet the changing needs of our customers and underpin the quality of their experience of our services, and to deepen our connection to the diversity of the communities that we serve as a public transport provider.

Business Impact:
How has the CSR initiative benefitted your business and demonstrated a win:win in the short-term and/or long-term?
Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy sets out our commitment to promoting equality, accommodating diversity, and ensuring non-discrimination for both our employees and our customers. Implementing these values creates a positive environment for our employees and ensures a positive experience for our customers. This is good for our business as it enables the contribution of all employees, providing a more innovative work environment, and ensuring employee retention. Furthermore it builds customer loyalty and ensures our service meets the needs of our customers.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Please identify which SDG goal(s) apply to your CSR initiative.

SDG 10 Reduced inequalities
SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

What did you learn from your experience of creating and implementing a CSR initiative?
There can be a perception that semi-state organisations in Ireland are traditional, reactive and slow to change. A learning from this process has been the actualised demonstration that where diversity and inclusion is involved the public sector can be at the cutting edge, with a commitment to being proactive rather than being reactive. This was demonstrated by our employees, Leadership Team and Board being open, welcoming and supportive of this new policy.

What advice would you give a business starting on their CSR Journey?
Ensure that your CSR Strategy is aligned with your Business Strategy. Consult with your management team and employees across a wide range of functions for their feedback, input and buy in. Utilise resources available to you externally and engage with industry experts to get their advice and guidance.

Download a copy of the Case Study as a pdf.

Case Study provided by
Dublin Bus
February 2019