Intersex Awareness Day: Supporting Intersex Inclusion in the Workplace
Intersex Awareness Day, observed on October 26th, not only celebrates intersex individuals but also serves as a reminder of workplace inclusion and equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of their biological or gender identities.
What is Intersexuality?
It is essential to establish a foundational understanding of what it means to be intersex. Intersex status pertains to physical or biological variations that transcend the binary male/female body, and individuals may have different experiences, both visible at birth and discovered later in life.
What’s the Connection Between LGBTQIA+ and Intersex?
LGBTQIA+ and intersex community share common challenges, including discrimination based on differences from societal norms. Discrimination against intersex individuals is often rooted in homophobia and transphobia, which also affect the LGBTQIA+ community.
How is Intersex Status Different than LGBTQIA+ Identity?
Intersex status relates to physical variations, while LGBTQIA+ identity involves sexual orientation and gender identity. Recognizing these differences is vital for supporting intersex individuals while respecting their unique experiences.
Intersexuality in the Workplace
Intersex Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of the struggles faced by intersex people and advocates for their rights. But how does this connect with workplace inclusion? Out & Equal suggests that the best way to support intersex people within the workplace is to implement inclusive policies. To create a workplace that supports intersex employees, employers should take several key actions:
- Nondiscrimination Policy: Ensure that nondiscrimination policies explicitly include “sex characteristics” to prevent discrimination based on intersex status.
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion/Human Resources: Integrate intersex education into diversity and inclusion initiatives, maintaining confidentiality and respecting privacy.
- Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Offer health insurance that covers intersex-specific medical care and gender-affirming treatments.
- Self-Identification: Allow employees to voluntarily self-identify their intersex status through surveys while ensuring privacy.
- Dress Codes: Promote professionalism and comfort by replacing gendered dress code policies with guidelines.
- Facilities: Provide alternative facilities to accommodate the privacy and comfort of intersex employees.
- ERG Engagement: Employee Resource Groups can play a vital role in raising awareness and education about intersex issues.
- Allyship: Encourage allyship by respecting privacy, avoiding assumptions, and amplifying intersex voices and stories.
It is not necessary for intersex people to disclose their status to their employer. When an employee chooses to discuss their intersex status to their employer, it should be treated as confidential. Behaviors such as questioning the gender of the intersex person, asking inappropriate questions, or using inappropriate terminology to refer to the person may arise and create an uncomfortable situation for the employee.
Remember to respect and acknowledge an individual’s self-identified gender, regardless of their intersex status, and to promote inclusive jobs and the diversity of gender identities and expressions. Intersex individuals should have the autonomy to determine their gender identity, just as anyone else does, and they should be supported and respected in that identity.
Equality Careers and Gender Neutrality
At Equality Careers, we firmly believe that an individual’s gender does not define their skills, qualifications, or potential as a professional. We are committed to fostering a diversity job board environment where everyone can thrive based on their merits, and we do not require or display your gender when creating your profile, resume, or submitting job applications through our platform. We stand by the principle that one’s gender identity should never be a barrier to career opportunities or job searches, and we are dedicated to promoting a level playing field for all. Your skills, experience, and qualifications are what truly matter in your professional journey, and we are here to support your career goals without any gender-based biases.
Intersex Awareness Day reminds us of the diversity of human experiences and how to support and acknowledge all gender identities. Recognizing this day in the workplace can lead to more inclusive, diverse, and equal opportunity employment for all employees, regardless of their gender or biological characteristics. By celebrating Intersex Awareness Day and encouraging dialogue, we take a step toward creating workplaces where everyone can thrive, contribute, and succeed.