Gender Affirmation Guidelines

Support for transgender staff and managers / colleagues

UNSW recognises that within the LGBTIQ community, transgender people often face unique and complex challenges, and that a supportive work environment can play a central role in enhancing a staff member’s wellbeing.

Change and uncertainty can create anxiety, and as with all change, gender affirmation (sometimes referred to as a 'transition') can affect many people: the individual affirming their gender, managers, colleagues, students and other people. In collaboration with transgender staff and the University community, UNSW has developed guidelines to address needs and issues that may arise when a person affirms their gender identity.

UNSW supports individuals affirming their gender identity with access to paid gender transition leave (see UNSW Enterprise Agreement 2018 – Academic Staff and Professional Staff). The University also offers flexible working arrangements. If staff require more information, please contact Workplace Diversity for assistance.

If you need support/advice about gender affirmation (for staff) at UNSW, including questions about any of the information on this page, contact Workplace Diversity.

Guidelines for the staff member

Having the right support network in place can assist in your gender affirming journey in the workplace. Involving your supervisor and supportive colleagues can help ensure the gender affirmation process is a positive experience for you and all involved and should be the first step in the process.  
Getting started - developing a gender affirmation plan  
Key considerations:
  • Talk to your supervisor / manager and let them know that you plan to affirm your gender identity. They will be able to support you through the process.
  • Draw up a list on UNSW staff you may need to work with or contact during your gender affirmation.
  • When is the affirmation likely to occur? Map out the important dates during affirmation, such as your legal name change, medical appointments (if relevant) and other milestones.
  • Are there any specific issues that need to be address sooner rather than later?
  • Think about how you would like your team to find out about your affirmation - e.g. an email, face-to-face group meeting, individual discussions and / or have your manager explain.
Other important considerations:
  • Will you need to organise any changes to professional licenses, qualifications or accreditations?
  • Do any external parties need to be informed?

Guidelines for the manager / support team

Supervisors: offer to assist the individual to develop their gender affirmation plan
Provide assurance
  • Let the person know that you will support them through their affirmation journey.
  • Assure the person that your conversation will be held in confidence.
  • Remind the person they are covered by existing University policies, including UNSW's EDI Policy, as well as state and federal laws.
Inform yourself
Offer assistance
  • Ask for suggestions on what you can do to support them during their gender affirmation.
  • Ask if they wish to inform their supervisor and work colleagues themselves, or prefer that this be done for them.
  • Find out if the person is considering a name change and what you can do to assist.
  • Set expectations, talk about possible scenarios, misgendering, people making mistakes etc.
Educating fellow staff, students and clients
  • Knowledge and awareness are key to reducing the likelihood of misunderstanding and tension in the workplace, especially when individuals are transitioning or affirming their gender identity.
  • Staff (and students) can complete Ally training, a free program which UNSW runs to educate participants about a range of LGBTIQ matters including the issues and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people, concepts such as homophobia and heterosexism, and the role and expectations of being an Ally.
Regardless of our personal views, we need to be respectful and inclusive of all colleagues in the workplace. Supporting transgender staff and being inclusive of people with diverse gender identities is no exception. The UNSW's Code of Conduct sets out the University’s expectations of staff and affiliates with respect to their professional and personal conduct.

UNSW will not tolerate discrimination, bullying or harassment on any grounds. Appropriate action, up to and including dismissal, will be taken against staff who engage in such misconduct.

Checklist for the staff member

The following checklist is not exhaustive, but may be used as a guide to help reduce the likelihood of unexpected roadblocks.

These changes need to happen over an agreed timeline, and as part of a gender affirmation plan.
Task description What to do / who to contact

Updating your preferred name in your human resources (HR) record
  • Logon to myUNSW > My Staff Profile > My Profile > Name Change > Edit Preferred Name.
Changing your primary name (legal name) in your HR record
  • In order to change your primary name in your HR record, you must first change your legal name with the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages or ACT Access Canberra. Once you have received your certificate, submit it to HR for review via myUNSW. Logon > My Staff Profile > My Profile > Name Change > Edit Primary Name > Attach documents.
Changing your gender marker in your HR record
  • You may wish to request this when changing your primary name. Currently, the three gender markers in UNSW HR records are Male / Female / Unknown. Contact your faculty / divisions HR Consultant for more information.
Changing your email address
Updating your Staff ID card
  • Estate Management administers all staff cards. Their service counter is located on Level 2, Mathews Building (F23). Ph. 9385 5111 or
Email distribution lists
  • Contact relevant person, if known; otherwise, contact UNSW IT (details above).
Email to staff requesting that they delete your former contact profiles or update existing one
  • Ask your manager / senior leader to email all staff in your faculty / division / school / unit. Discuss with your manager which group you want to receive the email.
Changing your name on desk / office door
  • Contact Estate Management (details above) and ask to speak to your faculty / divisions Client Facilities Manager.
Requesting new business cards
  • Ask your manager.
Changing logins - computer / additional systems
  • Self-service if possible, otherwise contact UNSW IT (details above).
Updating the UNSW Staff Directory
  • Logon to myUNSW > My Staff Profile > My Profile > Staff Directory.
  • Self-service: dial 58222 from your handset > enter security code (default = 1234) > dial 3 > dial 4 | More information
Team phone lists
  • Search your inbox to see who last sent you the list.
Organisation charts
  • Search your inbox to see who last sent you the chart.
Mailing lists
  • Contact relevant person, if known; otherwise, contact UNSW IT (details above).
  • Contact relevant institution / organisation. For UNSW qualifications contact Student Central on 9385 8500 or submit an online enquiry.
Superannuation / insurances policies
  • Contact your relevant insurance / superannuation provider. UniSuper is the industry fund for the tertiary sector. If you are with UniSuper, you can contact UNSW's on-campus UniSuper consultant.