Three people sitting around an office table.

“There was not really any way for me to be my identity and also work at the same time, because the culture is quite toxic and very conservative.” – Research Participant

Working for Change

In the Working for Change project, we set out to capture a more extensive understanding of the employment landscape that Two Spirit, trans, and nonbinary (2STNB) people in Canada navigate. This mixed methods study collected data from 2STNB people in Canada using a national survey and semi-structured interviews to better understand experiences of workplace discrimination and inclusion, barriers to and facilitators of employment, as well as experiences of unemployment and underemployment.  

Research Report

In the research report Working for Change: Understanding the employment experiences of Two Spirit, trans, and nonbinary people in Canada we analyze findings related to the employment, underemployment, and unemployment experiences of 2STNB people. The report aims to understand workplace experiences, barriers to employment, and experiences of discrimination and bias. While the findings overwhelmingly indicate that there is a long way to go to achieve employment equity for 2STNB people, we also found that some participants experienced supportive and inclusive workplaces; there is hope. Thus, we also provide actionable recommendations to address discrimination and inequities, and how to further foster affirming, inclusive, and safer workplace environments for 2STNB people in Canada.

Transfeminine and non-binary colleagues talking in an office.

“The moment I started being respected, even just by a few people, and I had my co-workers using my pronouns, I felt so hopeful.” – Research Participant

Key Findings

We found that 2STNB participants:

  • Were subject to marked disadvantages and challenges when attempting to navigate the workforce.
  • Experienced various forms of discrimination and harassment in their places of work.
  • Left their jobs due to safety concerns and experiences of psychological harm.
  • Experienced job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in precarious labour.

Important Statistics

Many impactful statistics came from the research study, here are just a few:

  • 72% of survey participants had experienced workplace discrimination.
  • 49% of survey participants quit their job due to not feeling accepted in the workplace.
  • 46% of survey participants had experienced unemployment since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
  • 74% of survey participants reported hiding or minimizing aspects of their identity half, most, or all of the time when job seeking.


We are thankful for the community organizations and individuals that supported our recruitment efforts and are immensely grateful to each of the participants who so generously shared their time and insights.

This research was funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE).

For further questions on this project, please email