Gender-diverse and transgender staff

Gender transitioning, sports participation and travel are among topics covered.

Gender transitioning at work: Guidelines

Gender transitioning is a unique and personal experience and the University supports staff members who are transitioning or decide to transition during their employment.

To assist the staff member transitioning and staff who have supervisory responsibility for people who are transitioning, practical Guidelines have been developed.

While staff members are not required to disclose their gender identity, they are encouraged to discuss their intention to transition with their manager. The Guidelines outline what steps they can take within the workplace and what this means for other staff and students. Specifically, developing a work plan, updating University records, timeframes and communicating appropriately.

Also included are steps a manager can take to support the staff member and legal and University obligations. A person’s gender identity and expression is a part of who they are, not a lifestyle choice. The University is committed to supporting all staff and ensure smooth gender transitioning at work.

For more information and support, contact Trans on Campus, a support network, social group and advocacy group for gender-diverse students and staff. Email:

What should I know about working with someone who is gender-diverse or trans?

  • Stick to the name and pronoun requested if the trans person does not indicate that they prefer different names and pronouns in different situations, regardless how they are dressed.
  • Help make others who will be in contact with the trans person aware of this and related web pages.
  • Don’t ask invasive questions about a persons individual's transition (including genitalia, surgical procedures, hormone therapy, or similar).
  • Be prepared to have “low-key conversations” with people who make unwelcome comments or who treat a trans person unfairly. This may stop the situation escalating when some quick education and guidance can achieve a positive outcome for all.
  • Do not single out the trans person or let other people know even by allusion that they are trans.
  • Most importantly: If in doubt, ask the trans person (in a sensitive way) how they would like to see a situation dealt with!  
  • It is really good if managers and colleagues educate themselves, rather than relying on the trans or gender-diverse person to enlighten them. There's plenty of information here and on the pages listed under "Related links".

How can I make my work space inclusive of gender-diverse and trans staff and students?

It is always safest to assume that you are interacting with trans or gender-diverse people. 

  • Never refer to trans people or any other equity group in a disparaging manner or make jokes involving (for example) sex changes. Never use transphobic or homophobic slurs or make jokes about (for example) effeminacy or other things which blur traditional gender norms.
  • Support any person who comes to you reporting transphobic abuse when using the bathroom they prefer. Do not react negatively to someone using a bathroom who does not appear to “belong” in that bathroom.
  • Consider how best to give new lecturing staff experience teaching smaller groups before putting them in front of a large stage 1 lecture.

For academic staff: Making an inclusive learning environment for trans students

  • To avoid outing trans students, do not use printed rolls or call names out loud. One method used by many tutors which maintains the privacy of any transgender students or other students with complicated name situations is to pass around a blank piece of paper for students to write their preferred names and student ID numbers on, and to cross-check the latter against the roll later.
  • Carefully consider how to run icebreakers, activities,  whakawhanaungatanga practices, or examples in your classes that may expose or otherwise make trans students uncomfortable. This could include getting students to introduce each other in tutorials (this often leads to misgendering)
  • Don’t assume any person’s gender or pronouns, or ask students to separate into binary gender groups. 
  • Taking steps such as stating your own pronouns when introducing yourself can normalise others doing the same.
  • When interacting with students in class, unless you are certain of their pronouns, attempt to use gender-neutral language and pronouns.

Inclusion of trans and gender-diverse students and staff in sport and recreation

The University has guidelines aimed at promoting inclusion of trans and gender-diverse students in recreation and sport.

The Inclusion of Trans and Gender Diverse Students and Staff in Sport and Recreation Guidelines are based on self-defined gender identity. 

The guidelines cover use of:

  • name and gender markers
  • sports uniforms
  • toilets, showers and changing rooms
  • accommodation when travelling for sport.

The guidelines also set out how University staff and coaches can promote respectful, safe and equitable engagement and participation in sport and recreation.

The accompanying background document, Unlawful Discrimination and Inclusion of Trans and Gender Diverse Students and Staff in Sport and Recreation, provides a brief summary of key legislation and unlawful discrimination.

Changing your University identifier

A Unique Public Identifier (UPI) is assigned to each person who has a personal data record at the University of Auckland. 

UPIs are assigned automatically when new personal data records are saved, using primary names and other information. They form the basis of logins to University computer systems.

Once assigned, a UPI is intended to never change. However, some exceptional situations do arise in which a change of UPI is required. 

The University recognises that for some Rainbow/gender-diverse staff members, UPI addresses can be a mismatch with their identity and this mismatch can cause discomfort or distress for the staff concerned. This constitutes an exceptional situation.

Such equity-based UPI changes can be made for staff who have completed a legal name change.

Applications for "exceptional circumstances" UPI changes can be made to the person delegated with the authority to approve requests for UPI changes. This person is Joe Standen (Product Owner, Identity and Access Management, the University of Auckland)

Important information for those travelling on University business

The University is making changes to its Identity and Access Management systems to include a third gender option – gender diverse.

This option recognises people who do not identify as exclusively female or male, whose gender identity and/or gender expression is outside the female/male binary categories.

This is in line with international good practice and reflects a human rights-based approach to data and information collection.

This change will, however, have an impact on travel bookings.

Orbit is the University’s contracted travel management company, and its system currently does not recognise gender diverse as an option. As such, travellers identifying as gender diverse in University systems will not have their details automatically mapped into the Orbit system.

We are working with Orbit on this. However, it is important to note that this is not an Orbit limitation but rather a global travel industry constraint.

In the meantime, please note the interim process outlined below:

For the purpose of travel all staff and students must have a gender value selected for their Orbit profile. Gender is a field that is required by some (not all) airlines for security purposes. At present the only genders available are male or female. 

Therefore, if you are required to travel for the University please ensure your profile, gender and title has been updated to match your passport, to ensure your travel request can be processed.

If you do not wish/are unable to update your profile so your gender (or lack thereof) in University systems does not match your passport, or you are travelling on a diverse passport, please contact Orbit directly to arrange your travel.

Please contact Fiona Moffat, in the University’s Procurement team, if you have further queries on this.