Being a woman is apparently not the same as being female, according to a new “Gender Pronoun Education/Awareness Initiative” introduced by the University of California System.
The Office of the President is training its employees in the new initiative through a three-part series in the weekly staff newsletter. It’s unclear how many employees are affected, since UCOP has not updated its staff figure since October 2015, when it had nearly 1,700 employees.
UCOP debuted the initiative Sept. 23, laying out its goals. The initiative is “focused on educating staff around how we can support trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming staff by implementing simple changes in how we use pronouns in the workplace.”
Pronouns are a major focus because UCOP doesn’t want any colleague to feel “uncomfortable and unwelcome” due to someone using an “incorrect pronoun” to describe them.
UCOP staff should realize that referring to a person as “he” or “she” based on the person’s “outward appearance” means they are making assumptions about gender, the first article says.
The second article in the series came out on Monday, a day before a spokesperson told The College Fix it would be released. Sarah McBride, media and communications strategist for UCOP, wrote in an email that the third is scheduled to be posted Oct. 22.
One of the listed sources of UCOP’s information is a website that is currently described as “coming soon” but existed in a different form years ago, according to archived pages reviewed by The Fix.
“We strive to build a culture where employees feel accepted and individual differences are respected and valued as part of our broader commitment to diversity,” McBride told The Daily Californian.
UCOP represents about 1 percent of the UC system by full-time employees, according to its undated figures. Its budget is about 2 percent of the system.
The initiative only applies to UCOP staff and not the UC campuses, McBride told The Daily. It’s still “in the planning stages,” the effort of a coalition that includes the Employee Engagement and Diversity Group, UCOP Pride, the UCOP’s Advisory Council on the Status of Women and UCOP’s Staff Assembly.
The second article of the series released Monday purports to explain and define gender to UCOP staff, but its explanations may leave some confused.
“When you first heard about the Gender Pronoun Initiative, it may have prompted you to consider your assumptions around what the word ‘gender’ means,” it begins.
It cites “helpful definitions” taken from Trans Student Educational Resources, including for gender identity, “gender expression/presentation,” sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation and “romantic/emotional orientation.”
The website formerly identified as TSER, Transstudent.org, is not live as of Tuesday night, but an archived page shows it existed as TSER as recently as Sept. 25, two days after UCOP announced the initiative.
Read the rest at: Women-Female