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Thomson Reuters to staff: 'Are you genderqueer?'

Thomson Reuters has asked its staff to identify their sex from nine classifications including "genderqueer", a category for identities other than man or woman.

According to the company’s annual employee survey, choosing a sexual identity doesn’t have to be based on a worker’s actual sex but instead “a person’s innate, deeply felt psychological identification as male or female, which may or may not correspond to the person’s body or designated sex at birth”.

The sexual preference question was provided by the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign and asked employees to chose from male, female, transgender, genderqueer/androgynous, intersex, transsexual, FTM (female-to-male), MTF (male-to-female), and prefer not to say.

“It enables us to get a good sense of the demographic of our employee population,” said Thomson Reuters spokeswoman Jocelyn Betts. She said that answering questions in the survey is optional, but the results this year helped the company win a 100 per cent rating in the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign’s influential Corporate Equality Index. The index is used by companies as a hiring tool and by America’s largest gay lobby to show advances in gay rights, a goal of many firms. Thomson Reuters increased from a score of 90 in 2012.

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

The question was mocked at last week’s annual gala of the US Media Research Center whose president Brent Bozell shared a Thomson Reuters employee’s e-mail that criticised the “stupid” question she had to answer. ■

Washington Examiner