Brazilian LGBT+ rights activists on Tuesday hailed Dutch retailer, C&A, for directing a new hiring campaign at under-represented minorities, including transgender people.
The company announced that it would be hiring for 5,000 temporary roles, at more than 270 stores across the country, and encouraged both transgender people and refugees to apply.
An announcement, directed specifically at transgender workers, appeared last week on the Facebook page of local advocacy group, Transempregos, which collaborated with C&A to promote the vacancies among its followers.
“For C&A, fashion is a platform of expression that allows everyone to show who they are”, reads the job announcement.
“To be in touch with the times, C&A is offering a work environment that believes in the value and richness of differences”.
The C&A Foundation, affiliated with retailer C&A, is a funding partner of the Thomson Reuters Foundation on its coverage of human trafficking.
“It’s marvelous”, Symmy Larrat, president of the Brazilian Association of LGBT people (ABLGBTT) told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“It sends a message that goes against the exclusion that people live day to day”.
The hiring campaign draws attention to the difficulties confronting transgender Brazilians, who, despite recent decisions from the nation’s top court recognizing trans rights, regularly face violence and discrimination.
According to advocacy group Trans Murder Monitoring, 167 trans people were killed in Brazil last year, the most of any country.
Javier Corrales, professor of political science at Amherst College, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that workplace discrimination is also a daily reality for transgender people, both in Brazil and across Latin America.
“This is a very serious problem”, he said. “They might have access to a limited number of jobs, mostly low-paying jobs, and they don’t get promoted”.
Worse still, said Corrales, those trans people that do get hired often experience anxiety and self-exclusion from trying to hide their identity, which can impact productivity.
By contrast, moves like these to promote inclusion can help boost workplace performance.
“A company that cultivates a culture of diversity makes everyone feel much more comfortable”. he said.
“It attracts more talent, and it’s a win win: it’s a win for productivity, and it’s a win for workers”.
-Oscar Lopez, Thomson Reuters Foundation