All staff can change their gender recorded in HR systems online, in the Web Kiosk. Categories are "female", "male" and "gender diverse".
Rainbow Tick Diversity and Inclusivity Training aims to develop cultural competency around LGBTTIQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui, intersex and asexual) communities with a clear focus on how this matters in the workplace.
Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) training
Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) provides workshops and training for all University staff about working with the queer community.
What does LGBTTIQA+ stand for? What does "rainbow" mean? Information and additional resources about support for the LGBTTIQA+ community can be found in the FAQs list below.
- What does LGBTTIQA+ stand for?
- What does "rainbow" mean?
- What does "trans" and "cisgender" mean?
- How do we support a staff member who is gender transitioning?
- What is the difference between gender and sexuality?
- What is a Rainbow Tick?
- Why does LGBTTIQA+ workplace inclusion matter?
- LGBTTIQA+ inclusion at work – what can I do?
- Contact us
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, takatāpui, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual.
Sexuality and gender identity vary greatly and not all people fit neatly into one of the commonly used terms. The "+" reflects this diversity.
Other commonly used abbreviations are LGBT, LGBT+, LGBTQIA.
"More Than Four" is a video resource from InsideOUT, exploring the identities and experiences of and beyond 'LGBT' identities. (10 videos, each up to 4 minutes long)
Rainbow is an umbrella term that encompasses people who are LBTTIQA+. The term has its origins in the rainbow flag that was designed during the gay liberation movement to represent diversity within the community.
"Trans" is a generic term often used to describe people whose gender differs from their sex assigned at birth; this encompasses transgender, genderqueer, androgynous, gender-diverse, whakawāhine, fa’afafine, tangata ira tane or fakaleiti.
"Cisgender" is a term used to describe someone whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned at birth, e.g. someone assigned female at birth who identifies as a woman.
Information includes transitioning at work tips, useful definitions and an outline of employers’ responsibilities to staff members who are transitioning. (10 minutes)
Gender is a personal concept of self as female or male, or neither/other. Sexual orientation refers to the genders to which a person is attracted.
Read The Guardian’s proposed guidelines when writing about transgender people.
Rainbow Tick is a certification mark awarded to organisations that complete a diversity and inclusion certification process. The certification process assesses whether a workplace understands, values and welcomes sexual and gender diversity.
The Rainbow Tick is a continuous improvement programme and organisations are re-assessed annually on their progress.
The University of Otago was first awarded the Rainbow Tick in 2018.
The University of Otago is committed to equity and diversity and to providing an inclusive, respectful and welcoming environment in which all students and staff are supported towards achieving their full potential.
The University recognises that LGBTTIQA+ staff are more likely to experience barriers to achieving their full potential. Research suggests that LGBTTIQA+ employees who feel they cannot disclose their identity use up to 30% of their energy at work concealing it.
Creating an environment at work where people can be themselves is important to their productivity, engagement, satisfaction and retention. The same principle applies for students, whose time at university is a period of learning and personal growth that is enhanced by a climate of inclusion and celebration of diversity.
LBGT+ issues in the workplace – listen to interviews with gay, lesbian, trans people who talk about their work, their colleagues, disclosure and language. (4 podcasts from 7 to 18 minutes long)
Avoid making assumptions about people’s gender or sexual orientation
- Listen to the words an individual uses to describe themselves and reflect that back. For example, a person might correct your assumption of their spouse/partner’s gender or your assumption about the person’s own gender and pronouns. If someone corrects you with regards to their gender or sexuality, the best thing to do is apologise, correct yourself without making excuses, and move on with the conversation.
- Use people’s self-defined pronouns (such as he/she/them). Some people state this information in their written communications (e.g. email signatures) or wear pronoun stickers indicating their pronoun. If in doubt, ask them.
- If you are unsure about someone’s pronouns when talking about them in the third person, it is often easiest to repeatedly use their name in place of a pronoun.
Respect confidentiality and withhold any judgement
- If an individual is seeking support and information with regards to LGBTTIQA+ rainbow identities, appreciate this can be a difficult thing to do (because of real and perceived fear of discrimination).
Use inclusive language
- Inclusive language acknowledges diversity and individual differences and is respectful to all people.
- For example, you can use the terms "spouse" or "partner" instead of "wife" or "husband", or "parents", "caregivers" or "family" instead of "mother and father", "child" instead of "son" or "daughter".
- Review and update existing teaching materials and other documents distributed to students or staff to ensure that the principles of inclusive language are followed (use "theirs" instead of "his/hers", which is not inclusive).
- The University's inclusive language guidelines
Become an ally
- Display a symbol in your office indicating your office is a safe (e.g. request a rainbow tick sticker from the Equity Office).
- Attend Rainbow events and encourage others to join you.
- Attend training sessions (and encourage others to attend).
- Find out about Rainbow Tick diversity and inclusivity training at the University of Otago.
Know what is available for students and staff and where to find information.
- Refer to the Equity at Otago website to find out about the support available to staff
- Contact the Equity Office
- Students can be referred to OUSA Queer Support
Calls are welcome from LGBTTIQA+ people, friends and whānau, or professionals who care for them.
If you have any comments, feedback or know of interesting resources that you would like to see on this website please email us.