The Return is a podcast about returning to the office. In season two, we examine what it’s like for Gen Z to enter the workforce for the first time in a post-pandemic world. More from the series →
Gen Zers are thinking about their identities and how they want to show up at work. This generation is all about authenticity, but for non-binary or transgender persons, that might mean jeopardizing your job, which is a lot to consider.
Corporate America has stepped up its support of LGBTQ+ rights. It is more widely accepted to be out in terms of sexual identity in the workplace. However, there is still a long road ahead to foster a truly inclusive environment, especially when it comes to gender identity. That said, Gen Z young adults are much more likely to identify as either trans or nonbinary than other generations. A Gallup survey found that the number of Gen Z people identifying as transgender is twice that of millennials.
In this episode, we speak to Gen Z founder Yen Tan who came out during the pandemic. The pandemic created a laundry list of negative impacts, but one positive outcome was that it gave people time to discover more about themselves during their time working from home. Since then, Tan has created a truly inclusive workplace in the company they created.
That’s something Kat Kibben told us is important for companies today. Kibben is the founder of Three Ears Media, a company that offers pronoun education to workforces. The phone calls from organizations peak during Pride Month, but Kibben says it’s crucial work year-round, especially when there is a rise in anti-trans legislation. There are 583 such bills across 49 states in 2023, according to translegislation.com.
Of the proposed anti-trans bills, 14 are in Florida, where Gen Zer Lana Patel grew up. In this episode, we hear her first-hand experience about transitioning and the lack of support she received from employers over the years. Today she works at Plume, a gender affirming health care company for the gender diverse community as the PR and government affairs liaison.
Across eight episodes, season two of The Return lifts the lid on what motivates and inspires the youngest generation of workers, and how they’re not as work-shy as they’re often depicted.
Season two of The Return is hosted by Cloey Callahan, a Gen Zer and senior reporter at Digiday Media’s WorkLife, and produced by Digiday Media’s audio producer Sara Patterson. Subscribe to the WorkLife podcast now on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Want to be featured in a future episode? All season we’ve been hearing directly from Gen Z workers about their experiences starting their careers in this new era of work. And now we want to hear from you. If you’re a member of Gen Z, or a manager of one, or even a parent of one, we want to hear your thoughts on friend-torship, work-life balance, quiet quitting, and any other ways you think this new generation is changing the way we think about work. You can call and leave a voicemail at 845-580-2884 or send a voice memo to email@example.com and it might be featured in a future episode.