Gender is part of a person’s social and personal identity. It refers to each person’s deeply felt internal and individual identity. A person’s gender may or may not correspond with their sex assigned at birth.

Gender is a spectrum and people identify in lots of different ways. People choose to present their gender in different ways. Gender is an inherently personal and private part of someone. You may not be able to know someone’s gender based on the way that they look, the way that they speak or their name. It is very important not to make assumptions about someone’s gender.

You must respect and value the individuality of all people, and appropriately use the personal information provided to you.

Gender affirmation in the workplace

The University recognises that a persons gender may not align with the gender they were assigned at birth and is committed to supporting someone affirm their gender in the workplace. A gender affirmation, or transition, process is a different for everyone, but may involve a person changing their name, appearance, dress, salutations and other aspects of their self to align with their true gender.

The University of Queensland Guide for Supporting Gender Affirmation or Transition in the Workplace provides information to staff and supervisors on how to best support staff affirm their gender in the workplace. 

Supervisors and colleagues play an important role in supporting staff to affirm or transition their gender in the workplace. The staff member who is affirming or transitioning their gender can work with their supervisor to develop a workplace gender affirmation plan to guide the process.

Download the UQ Guide for Supporting Gender Affirmation or Transition in the Workplace (PDF, 611KB) and the UQ Gender Affirmation or Transition Plan Template (DOC, 180KB) to develop a plan to assist and support staff during this process. 

Non-binary or gender X

Gender is a non-binary concept, meaning it goes beyond just male or female.

Staff at UQ can choose gender X (indeterminate, intersex, unspecified) as a gender category in their records, and choose to use the gender neutral salutation Mx.

Intersex

Intersex is a term that relates to a broad range of congenital physical traits or variations that lie between stereotypical ideals of male and female.

Intersex people are born with varying degrees of the biological aspects of both biological males and biological females. Intersex people are often 'assigned' a male or female identity at birth, which may not correspond with their identities later in life.

See the Pride in Diversity Employers Guide to Intersex Inclusion (PDF, 956KB) for more information.

Gender is different to sexuality

Gender is completely separate to someone’s sexuality. Sexuality refers to who someone is attracted to.

Using inclusive language

Use gender neutral pronouns to refer to someone until they choose to tell you what they prefer:

  • masculine: 'him', 'his', 'he'
  • feminine: 'she', 'her', 'hers'
  • neutral: 'they', 'them', 'theirs'.

If you make a mistake, apologise and take their correction on board, and make sure you use their correct name and pronouns in the future.

The UQ standard gender-inclusive salutation is ‘Mx’. However, not everyone who identifies as non-binary will use a non-binary salutation. People who identify as gender X may also have the salutation of Dr, Associate Professor or Professor.

See the inclusive language guide for more information.

Learn more

Resources from Pride in Diversity (staff login required):

The Ally Workshop Staff Development program is a full-day workshop about sexuality, gender diversity, inclusion and the Ally Network. The program is highly recommended for all staff, particularly supervisors and managers.

Understanding Gender and Sexuality guides from Student Help on Campus (SHOC) are a good starting point to learn more.