Employing transgender in organization: Workplace discrimination challenges

By Arab-ul-Mateen

University of Management and Technology, Pakistan

Sami Bajwa

University of Management and Technology, Pakistan

Dawood Mamoon

World Economic Survey Expert Group, Pakistan


The study explores the challenges an organization face when transgender persons are employed. One of the challenges is workplace discrimination issue against the transgender employees. Further, the role of transformational leadership has been examined in dealing with workplace discrimination issues. The study is based on qualitative analysis where in the validity and credibility of the study is ensured using data triangulation i.e. data is collected through unstructured interviews, participant observation and documents & pictures. Also, source triangulation i.e. different categories of respondents included 6 transgender employees, 6 other employees who works closely with transgender employees, 3 HR personnel, and the Executive Director Akhuwat. The study supports the role of transformational leadership in handling workplace discrimination. The values & principles, like respect and brotherhood are the core factors affecting the workplace discrimination against transgender employees. Especially, in absence of formalized HR policies and regulations, the values & principles plays a pivotal role. Such values of brotherhood and respect encourages the employees to hold a non-discriminatory organizational culture. Data shows the transgender employees are more hardworking, motivated, loyal and satisfied for merely being respected and recognized by the organization. This study of transgender employment experiences and the role of transformational leadership opens new lines of inquiry for understanding gender inequalities at work, and it builds on scholarship that combines political, social and economic approaches with transgender studies.



List of Charts

List of Figures

List of Tables


  1. Introduction

Background of the study

Purpose of the study


Statement of the problem


Objectives of the Study

Research Question


  1. Literature Review

Transgenderism Defined

History of transgender in South Asia

Challenges faced by transgender persons

UN resolutions for human rights protection Lesbian, Guys, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBTs)

Legal identity of transgender people in Pakistan

Transgender persons and organization

Discrimination against sexual minorities

Transgender experiences differs from Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual (LGB)


  1. Theoretical Framework


  1. Akhuwat Cloth Bank Case


  1. Methodology

Research Design

Research Approach

Research Strategy

Time Horizon

Population and Sample

Unit of Analysis

Data Collection

Criteria for interpreting findings

Analytical procedures/Methods of analysis

Reporting Structure

Establishing research quality

Ethical Considerations


  1. Data Analysis

Transformational Leadership

Idealized Influence

Values and Principles



Pride & Dignity in Work

Individualized Consideration

Inspirational Motivation

Intellectual Stimulation

Workplace Discrimination

Salary & Benefits

Resource Distribution

Career Development


Educating Transgender (Khwajasiras) & Other Employees

Conflict Management, Grievance handling, Harassment

Hiring, Firing, Promotion, Demotion

Informal Discrimination

Identity Management & Gender Specific Trait Roles

Limited Interaction with Employees Increased Group Cohesion

Emotional Abuse & Psychological Distress

Societal Discrimination


  1. Discussion


  1. Conclusion & Implications


Theoretical Implications

Practical Implications


  1. Limitations & Future Research Directions



About Author

Dr. Dawood’s research interests center on issues of national competitiveness. His research, published in the Journal of Peace Research and Economics of Governance, finds that bilateral and multilateral trade mitigates conflict between India and Pakistan, and would like to extend his analysis to look at how spending on education or levels of education behave with respect to conflict. He believes that one reason poverty has not been significantly reduced in some developing countries is due to prevalent conflict. He also is director of the Center for Graduate Research. Among the courses he teaches is Harvard Business School’s microeconomics of competitiveness. He also supervises Ph.D and MS research and manages MS programs in the School of Business and Economics. Dawood holds a Ph.D in Economics of Sustainable Development and an MA in Development Economics, both from Erasmus University, the Netherlands. He also holds an MPhil and an MS in Economics, both from Quaid-e-Azam University in Pakistan.



Date of Publication

December 15, 2019

File Size: 3545 KB
Length: xv + 94 pages

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