Reuters Asks Employees 'Are You Genderqueer?'

Friday, 04 Oct 2013 03:04 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Media giant Thomson Reuters is asking its employees to state their sexual "identity" — offering "genderqueer" as one of nine categories it hopes will chart the company's diversity profile.

The survey asks workers to state a sexual identity that can include male, female, transgender, genderqueer/androgynous, intersex, transsexual, FTM (female-to-male), and MTF (male-to-female), reports the Washington Examiner.

It also allows employees not to answer if they prefer to keep their sexual identity to themselves.

Jocelyn Betts, a spokeswoman for the company that includes the Reuters news agency, said the survey of its 60,000 employees "enables us to get a good sense of the demographic of our employee population."

However, some workers complain that the questions are "stupid," said Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, who shared one employee's email during the group's annual gala and mocked the question.

Betts said the results of the survey have helped Thomson Reuters score a 100 percent rating in the Human Rights Campaign's "Corporate Equality Index," and the terms of the question were supplied by the HRC.

Employers that earn a 100 percent rating on the index are recognized as achieving a "Best Place to Work for Equality" award, said the HRC.

"These criteria have been created to encourage employers to participate in the index and to advance the best practices for LGBT workplace inclusion that should be expected of all large employers," the HRC said. "The criteria have always been intended to evolve as more employers adopt existing criteria and new best practices emerge."

The index is also used by companies as a hiring tool and by the HRC to show advances in gay rights, and Thomson Reuters increased last year's score from 90 percent. Other companies, though, did not fare so well. Exxon Mobile received a minus 25 percent, while WalMart scored 60 percent. Ford Motor Co. like Thomson Reuters, scored 100 percent.

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