Jenny Fallover from GWN interviewed Emma Cusdin, co-founder of trans*formation to understand how it all started and what GWN members can do to help the organisation.

Emma Cusdin has over 20 years experience in Human Resources having worked for global financial services organisations. She is currently a People Director with Aviva Investors and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. Emma is an openly trans woman, having transitioned in 2009, and she is passionate about raising awareness of trans issues. Emma has spoken at many trans events organised by leading private sector companies. She has been featured in the Financial Times and has written a blog for the Huffington Post. Emma is a Trustee for the Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES) and she chaired the National Trans Youth Conference in 2014 and 2015. She was delighted to receive the ‘highly commended’ award at the 2015 European Diversity Awards in the category of ‘Inspirational Role Model’ and she recently appeared in the OUT at Work 2016 Top 50 UK LGBT Executives. Emma also sits on the trans advisory group (called the ‘T squad’) for the new start-up LGBT Insurance company, Emerald Life. Emma co-founded trans*formation, the UK’s largest professional networking organisation for trans* individuals, their friends and colleagues.

When was trans*formation formed and why?

Trans*formation was formed just under 3 years ago. We are super excited to be approaching our 3rd Birthday celebration in early October. We personally knew a number of trans people in professional organisations although there didn’t seem to be a place where trans people, irrespective of where people are on the trans*spectrum, and trans allies could network to provide support. We decided to rent a room in a pub for an evening event and we were blown away that over 30 people turned up!

What are you currently working on?

Our clear focus is on how we can improve trans inclusion and visibility in the workplace. We are currently doing a lot of education and awareness sessions with companies and we always support trans people who wish to transition at work. We are keen to make UK companies much more trans inclusive – whether that’s for trans employees or trans customers.

Who are the key people in the organisation and what’s your role?

The key people are always our supporters and those who advocate for us. We have a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers (which we will call ambassadors) who help our voluntary organisation continue to do great and amazing work. As CEO of trans*formation I’m so delighted that we recently expanded and strengthened both our ambassadors and our board.

What can GWN members do to help trans*formation?

We are are a non-profit organisation so we are always looking for donations – both monetary and/or volunteering time and expertise. Please do come along to one of our events, contact us and ask us to come into your organisation although, more importantly, be an advocate for trans people whether it’s at home or in workplace so that we create the safe place for trans people to be themselves.

Please do check out our new website for more information, events, blogs and resources – www.transformationuk.com

Emma Cusdin

Co-founder of trans*formation