Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Developing a workplace transition plan

There is no one way to tell your employer and colleagues that you are transgender, and you have no obligation to do so. Whether, how, or when you choose to share this information and who you choose to tell is entirely up to you.

The following guidance was developed in collaboration with campus partners and employees who have transitioned:

Find a key ally
If you would like help developing a workplace transition plan, start with one individual who you trust and who can support you as you come out to others. This could be your supervisor or your local HR representative, or the central UWHR or Academic HR Consultant assigned to your UW unit/department.

Questions to ask yourself

  • How private are you feeling about this process? You have the right to discuss your gender identity or expression openly or to keep that information private.
  • If your manager wasn’t your first contact, will you inform them? Would you like support to do so?
  • How would you like your team to find out about your transition? (e.g. email, face-to-face meeting, individual discussions, from your manager/HR representative).
  • Do you anticipate any difficulties with any of your coworkers or with members of the public that you may need to deal with? What support would you like to have in dealing with these issues?

Develop a stakeholders list

Who are all of the people in your work group you may need to engage at some point during your transition?

  • Do you have clients that should be informed? How?

Create a timeline

  • Factor in how long it takes for HR/administrative functions (e.g. legal name changes, directories, etc.).
  • Do you need to process any changes to professional licenses?
  • If you anticipate time off required for transition-related medical care, do you know the steps to request leave?
  • Are there any specific issues that need to be addressed sooner rather than later?

Additional details

Search for your current name on the UW website and any department or unit intranet for team rosters and other references. Do any of these need to be changed?

  • Will you need to make workspace changes (e.g., nameplate/office signage/directory)?

How your HR Consultant can help you

Your Human Resources Consultant is available to support you and your workplace transition. The HR Consultant can:

  • Communicate with your manager and department leadership about how to support your transition.
  • Guide your manager and department leadership through implementation of your transition plan.
  • Provide resource materials for department/unit employees and discuss the potential need for training or education.
  • Help you handle any communication challenges, misunderstandings and missteps (they happen despite the best of plans) in a productive and non-confrontational manner.

Additional UW, community and national resources

University of Washington

UW Medicine’s Transgender & Gender Non-Binary Health Program
Contact the Health Program Coordinator: 206.520.6205

Q Center

Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (School of Medicine)
http://cedi-web01.s.uw.edu/ or 206-685-2489
ph: 206-685-2489 | fax: 206-543-9063

Q Faculty, Staff & Allies Association (QFS)


Gender Justice League

Ingersoll Gender Center


Transgender Law Center

National Center for Transgender Equality

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC)