This is a letter from Dan Woodman, on behalf of the TASA Executive, in response to a proposal from LGBT+ members of TASA around our organisation’s policies and procedures concerning gender.
12 April, 2017
The Australian Sociological Association is taking a number of steps in response to the ‘Post Gender Initiatives’ proposal submitted to the 2015-2016 Executive. This letter outlines the changes agreed to by the previous Executive and the progress to date.
The Executive agreed to:
1. Make clear that the Women’s drinks are open and inclusive.
Action: This began with a statement of inclusivity alongside this event in the 2016 Programme (‘open to all delegates who identify as a woman’), and a verbal statement reiterating this from the Vice President during the conference Opening Ceremony. This will continue for 2017 and future conferences.
2. Add to future Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) a commitment to gender neutral facilities:
Action: The MoU for TASA 2018 now includes the following statement:
Gender neutral facilities: Gender neutral toilets must be available in a central location at the conference venue. The availability of these facilities and their location should be included in the conference booklet.
This statement will also be included in future MoUs. The 2017 MoU was signed before the proposal was brought to the Executive, but TASA has negotiated with the 2017 hosts to do this also.
3. Update the question on sex in the TASA membership application process.
Action: The majority of the previous Executive felt it was important to continue to collect data on this from members, but agreed to update the fields to include ‘non-binary’, ‘prefer not to say’ options. TASA sought advice on the wording, and the new registration question is now live on the TASA website.
4. Give delegates the opportunity to add preferred pronouns on the event name tags.
Action: The Professional Conference Organisers (PCO) we use were informed of this new requirement at TASA 2016 and received a written reminder in early March. They have responded to say that they have added a field for this to the registration process, so that this can be added to the printed name tags. The registration system will be online from the middle of the year.
5. Update any gendered language in TASA documents as they are revised.
Action: This will be a rolling process as we update documents.
Finally, a thank you from TASA to the members who were part of the working group that developed the ‘Post-gender’ proposal.
(President – The Australian Sociological Association)