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 characteristics or 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 person's 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 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 is committed to supporting staff to affirm their gender in the workplace in a safe, positive and inclusive way. University Staff who wish to affirm their gender have access to confidential and specific support, including special paid leave, to do so in the manner of their choice.

The UQ 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.

To develop a plan to assist and support staff during this process, download the:

Non-binary or gender X

Gender is a spectrum meaning it goes beyond just woman or man.

Non-binary is a term that applies to anyone who doesn’t exclusively identify as one binary gender (woman or man) all the time. Someone who is non-binary might feel a mix of genders, that their gender is fluid and changes, or that they have no gender at all.

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


Intersex is a term that relates to a broad range of sex characteristics 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.

Inclusive use of pronouns

Use gender-neutral pronouns 'they', 'them', and 'theirs' 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'.

There are also neopronouns which are new (neo) pronouns. They are customisable and help people express their gender in more accurate or fun ways. Like how a person innately knows their gender, a person just knows the pronouns they use fit them best. Neopronouns are used in the same way other pronouns are used. Some examples of neopronoun sets are: 'ze/hir/hirs/hirself', 'fae/faer/faers', and 'xe/xem/xir/xirs'. If a person’s pronouns were 'fae/faer/faers', then you would say, “fae cut faer hair faerself” instead of “they cut their hair themself”.

This table gives examples of how pronouns are used.

Subject pronounsObject pronounsPossessive adjectivePossessive pronounsReflexive pronouns

Some people use multiple sets of pronouns, such as he/they, she/they, they/it/she/he. For some, the pronoun mentioned first is their main preference and for others, they want all of their pronouns used equally. It is best to ask, when appropriate, how a person wants their pronouns used.

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 Branding, UQ Ally Network, Student Employability Centre and Student-Staff-Partnership teams have created a set of posters and stickers to help with pronouns. Download the: 

Indicating your pronouns at UQ

Everyone can indicate their pronouns by

  • Wearing a pronoun badge,
  • Adding your pronouns to your Zoom account,
  • Including your pronouns in your email signature, staff also have this option when using the UQ DAM email signature template,
  • If you are a UQ staff member, you can add your pronouns to your Office 365 and your Microsoft Teams profile,
  • Add your pronouns to your Employee/Worker profile in Workday. This will only appear if you have added pronouns under the Personal Information section of the Worker Profile.

Using inclusive language

The UQ standard inclusive gender-neutral salutation is ‘Mx’. However, not everyone who is non-binary will use a gender-neutral salutation. People who are non-binary or gender diverse may also have the salutation of Dr, Associate Professor, Professor, Mr, Mrs etc.

See the UQ Inclusive Language Guide for more information.

Dress codes and uniforms

UQ is inherently accepting of all forms of dress and doesn’t have a formal dress code. Staff are able to express themselves through clothing in any way they personally choose regardless of gender.

There are few ‘uniforms’ within the UQ context, but where they exist there are no gender differences or restrictions.

Please contact for any questions regarding UQ’s Dress Code.

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.