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Boulder County adds more gender classifications for job applicants

Move is geared toward greater inclusiveness
Posted at 9:50 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 22:16:59-05

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. – Job applicants in Boulder County have a wider range to choose from when identifying by gender if they’re applying to work for the government.  

Our partners at the Boulder Daily Camera report the move by the county, which started back in September, stems from a desire to create a more inclusive work environment.

Applicants are told when applying the county does not discriminate based on “sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, religion, disability, veteran or socioeconomic status,” before asking them to consider answering other questions to keep track of the county’s recruitment efforts.

Answers to those subsequent questions are strictly confidential and are not viewed by a manager or shared outside human resources.

When applicants get to the gender question, they now see a broader range of options to choose from, according to the Camera. Those options are: male, female, transgender female, transgender male, nonbinary, genderqueer, genderfluid or agender, the Camera reports.

Before September, the form had only three options: male, female or “other,” which county officials said felt like it wasn’t an appropriate word to use, according to the Camera.

“We felt that by limiting the gender options to male or female, that could discourage some people from applying," Brandon Figliolino, a recruiting technician for Boulder County, told the newspaper.

People who do not want to answer that question still have the option to do so.

Figliolino also made it clear to the paper that there was no way a person’s answer to the gender question could affect their chances of being hired.

Barbara Halpin, from the Boulder County Commissioner's Office, directed Denver7 to the Inclusive Work Environment page of the Boulder County website, which partially states their reasoning to add more gender specifications of job applications. 

"By updating the categories, we believe we will attract a more diverse workforce, and promote positive discourse on race, ethnicity, and gender identity in the community and beyond."

The website then makes it a point to to state that the answers to those questions do not affect the hiring decisions in the county and are only used to track the county's workforce diversity. 

Definitions of gender terms

To some, it may seem odd to include a wider range of gender identities. But Boulder County says adding a wider range of identities empowers people to feel welcome and respected.

To shed light on this issue, Denver7 is providing the following definitions so the public may know what they mean and know when to use them when encountering a person outside the traditional two gender designation.

The following definitions come from Trans Student Education Resources website.

Male: A person assigned as male at birth who identifies as a man.

Female: A person assigned as female at birth who identifies as a woman.

Transgender female: A person who is assigned male at birth but who identifies as a woman.

Transgender male: A persona who is assigned female at birth but who identifies as a man.

Nonbinary: Preferred term for all genders other than female/woman or male/man.

Genderqueer: An identity that’s commonly used by people who do not identify or express their gender within the gender binary, and who may identify as a mix of both.

Genderfluid: An identity for a person who may identify as a man/male, woman/female, both or neither. Identity is dependent on context.

Agender: A person who does not identify with any given gender.