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Reuters asks staff if they are 'intersex,' 'transsexual,' 'genderqueer,' male-to-female

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Jobs,Labor,Media,Gay rights

The 60,000-strong Thomson Reuters media empire, in an effort to determine its diversity success, is asking its staff of reporters, researchers, marketers and others to pick their sex from nine choices, 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.”

The survey is part of the mega-media company’s effort to chart its progress in becoming a more diverse international corporation.

“It enables us to get a good sense of the demographic of our employee population,” said London-based Thomson Reuters spokeswoman Jocelyn Betts.

The question was mocked at last week's Media Research Center annual gala by President Brent Bozell who shared a Thomson Reuters employee's email criticizing the “stupid” question she had to answer.

Betts said that answering questions in the survey is optional, but the results this year helped the company win a 100 percent 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 the nation’s largest gay lobby to show advances in gay rights, a goal of many firms. Reuters, for example, increased from a score of 90 in 2012. Other company ratings from the 2013 index include minus 25 percent for Exxon Mobil, 60 percent for Walmart and 100 percent for Ford. HRC said the report, released each fall, “provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.”

Betts said the sexual preference question was provided by HRC and asks employees to chose from male, female, transgender, genderqueer/androgynous, intersex, transsexual, FTM (female-to-male), MTF (male-to-female), and prefer not to say.

Below is the question as posed in the survey:

Please choose the category that best describes your gender identity. (Gender identity, as defined by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), refers to 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 categories the HRC uses are listed below).

Male

Female

Transgender

Genderqueer/Androgynous

Intersex

Transsexual

FTM (female-to-male)

MTF (male-to-female)

Prefer not to say

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.