Steve to Stephanie
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1) How can Henrietta help Steve transition in a company where not everybody is supportive? Henrietta can help Steve transition in a number of ways. Because the idea of switching gender is abstract idea, not every person will be accepting of it. In fact most people will be unaccepting of it being that they are morally agaist the idea of switching gender. Just as people are hesitant to accept gays, the dominant male female role stereotypes have been long ingrained in most cultures and most people accept them as “normal”. I believe the first thing that must be done to help Steve and LaSalle with the gender transition is to educate people about the process. People need to be aware of the reasons someone would choose to do this so they can understand why and possibly make some sense of it on their own. However the timing of this education needs to be carefully planned as to what the company and Steve believe is best. After education the Human Resource team should be leveraged to carefully monitor the situation and help those who are struggling to accept Steve’s life choice.
2) Does Steve’s transition risk integration of CatalCon, or any stakeholder relationships? Be Specific! Yes Steve gender transition will more than likely affect CatalCon and Lasalle’s integration for a number of reasons. First being that Steve’s sales partner Alex already has a bad opinion of Steve due the fact that Steve was given the Sale’s Director position over Alex. Alex being the number two at CatalCon before the acquisition believes he is much more qualified for the position though his 20 years of experience. Because there is already residual resentment the news of this gender transition angers Alex because he believes it is morally wrong and doesn’t believe in such a thing. Also he thinks that many of the shareholders and customers who are mostly conservative will not like this announcement. Alex believes they will lose business because of this and there is nothing the company can to stop it because they cannot fire Steve due to gender discrimination state laws. Also Alex is a very respected sales man and losing him would be detrimental to the CatalCon acquisition. He is needed for his understanding of CatalCon products that sales people from LaSalle will just not have due to lack of experience.
3) How far should firms go to protect and accommodate employee differences in the workplace? The firm has an obligation to protect Steve’s privacy, as this is a medical issue. So while they might want to settle things in ways that will make the majority happy, there are laws that force you to look out for the little guy. Any firm has a human resource team that is obligated to mediate employee disputes. But no matter what type of employee is the majority they must take actions to provide an equal and safe working environment for everyone. I believe that Henrietta made a mistake sending out a memo to specific people in the firm. Memos can be misplaced and seen by the wrong eyes. This could lead to a privacy lawsuit and should be avoided by waiting to announce sensitive material until a time that is right for the subject and the firm. Some employees may have issues other than medical that need to be met such as religious differences and cultural differences where dress code must be bent. I believe if there are differences that need to be accommodated for they most likely have laws that protect those differences. Therefore you will have some sort of guidelines as to how you many attempt to accommodate them.