Brock University is moving to processes and practices that are more gender inclusive, in light of changes to the Ontario Human Rights Code that include protections for gender identity and gender expression.
This week the University’s Office of Human Rights and Equity sent a ‘Gender Designations Memo’ to the Brock community that discusses how to sustain a culture that is inclusive and non-discriminatory.
This follows moves by the Ontario government to change how it displays sex and gender information on health cards and driver’s licences, to ensure the fair treatment of people with trans and non-binary identity. Non-binary is the term often used for people whose gender identity is not exclusively male or female.
The Brock memo directs all departments to review University forms and remove questions or data fields that ask about gender, if the information is not required. The memo also examines ways of being inclusive in situations where there is a real need to ask about gender.
When in doubt, states the memo, help is at hand.
“If you are struggling to determine whether there is a legitimate need to ask for gender designations on a University form, whether more inclusive options are possible, or whether accommodations are necessary, consult with Human Rights and Equity.”