Employers’ guide to intersex inclusion

Employers' guide to intersex inclusionOII Australia is proud and delighted to partner with Pride in Diversity to publish the Employers’ guide to intersex inclusion. Written by Morgan Carpenter and Dawn Hough, the guide is kindly sponsored by IBM.

A world-first, the guide presents information about intersex for employers, including:

  • An introduction to intersex.
  • Intersex bodies, identities, and inclusive language.
  • Disclosure, medical issues in the workplace, and travel.
  • Protections related to “intersex status” in Commonwealth law.
  • Information for diversity and inclusion professionals.
  • Top 10 ways to be an intersex ally.
  • Information for parents of intersex children.
  • Additional information and a glossary of terms.

Morgan Carpenter, president of OII Australia, stated:

Intersex status appeared as a new attribute in Commonwealth anti-discrimination law in 2013, yet employer and community understanding of intersex remains limited. This guide is here to help. It hopes to enable more people with intersex variations to just be ourselves, as we are.

Social and cultural attitudes towards intersex have a huge impact on our lives at work and outside it. We hope this guide will make a difference to intersex people who are employed by your organisation, and those who are clients or customers of your business. In the words of an international intersex community consensus statement, we hope that it will help create supportive, safe and celebratory workplaces.

Dawn Hough, director of Pride in Diversity, commented:

This publication has been specifically written for those working in Human Resources, Diversity and Network Leadership roles but will have a much broader reach in terms of educating people more generally on some of the shared (LGBTI) and unique workplaces experiences of our intersex employees.

There is an opportunity to lead the way in this aspect of LGBTI workplace inclusion globally. We need to be advocates and allies for our intersex employees and colleagues. I challenge and encourage you to be a leader in this area, both personally and organisationally. This publication has been written to instigate change. Change requires action. Here is an opportunity to be at the forefront of LGBTI inclusion and make a real difference to the lived experience of intersex employees within our organisations and beyond.

The guide is available as a free download or in print form (for a fee) from Pride in Diversity. Print copies are available free for members of Pride in Diversity.

Background information

OII Australia is a national Public Benevolent Institution by and for intersex people. The organisation’s goals are to support people with intersex variations, to help create a society where sex differences are not stigmatised and where intersex people’s human rights are recognised.

Pride in Diversity is Australia’s first and only national not- for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTI workplace inclusion. Specialists in HR, organisational change and workplace diversity, Pride in Diversity has established itself as an internationally recognised program and a parter to many LGBTI employer support organisations across the globe.

IBM has generously sponsored annual publications by Pride in Diversity for the last four years. Without their support, publications such as this would not be possible.

Thank you also to Tony Briffa and Phoebe Hart, and each of the case study contributors and reviewers. Thanks to Professor Gillian Triggs and Tim Wilson (Australian Human Rights Commission) and Assistant Commissioner Justine Saunders (Australian Federal Police) for contributing and appearing.

Citation and catalogue information

Carpenter, M., Hough, D. (2014) Employers’ Guide to Intersex Inclusion. Sydney: Pride in Diversity and Organisation Intersex International Australia.

ISBN 978-0-646-92905-7.

More information

Share a quick link to this page: oii.org.au/employer

Related resources

Making your service intersex friendlyMaking your service intersex-friendly” is a short guide to help services build intersex-inclusive practice. It helps organisations and businesses to better understand intersex, and respond to community needs. Businesses and institutions will find ways of making services inclusive and respectful, including in data collection. The following issues are addressed:

  • Who are intersex people, and what do intersex clients need?
  • Data collection on intersex, sexual orientation and gender.
  • An example intake form.
  • Anti-discrimination law.
  • Disclosure and speaking up.
  • Inclusive language.
  • Body diversity issues.
  • What health issues intersex people face.

Identification documentsInformation for parents” introduces intersex for parents. Available to read online.

  • We hope that our page for parents will be helpful to you if you have a new baby or if you’re planning a pregnancy, or you’ve recently discovered that your child has an intersex trait, sometimes called a “DSD” or “disorder of sex development“.

Intersex for alliesIntersex for allies” introduces intersex issues to a broad audience. Available to read online, or download as a PDF and print.

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