Nonbinary people often experience significant discrimination and erasure in the workplace and while job-hunting. The majority of nonbinary employees remain closeted at their work.[1] Some research has shown "that being out as a nonbinary transgender person has different effects [...] based on sex assigned at birth, with those assigned male at birth tending to be discriminated against in hiring but those assigned female at birth more likely to experience differential treatment once hired."[2]

Some jurisdictions, such as the state of California, have laws explicitly protecting nonbinary people from discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere.[3]

Tips for employersEdit

It is recommended that employers take actions to show nonbinary inclusivity, such as:

  • editing documentation to utilize gender neutral language and singular they rather than using phrases like "his/her paycheck".[4][5]
  • updating forms and software to allow more gender options than male and female (keeping in mind that "transgender" is not a gender on its own), and consider allowing free-text answers and/or "prefer not to say".[5]
  • offering gender-neutral honorifics such as Mx on forms and in computer systems.[5]
  • allowing/encouraging employees to list their pronouns on email signatures/name tags/etc., as well as having employees introduce themselves with their pronouns when speaking to people.[6]
  • revising dress codes to eliminate gender-related restrictions, and "[r]eplace them with simplified instructions guided by principles of general professionalism."[5]
  • revising anti-discrimination/anti-harassment policies to include nonbinary gender as a protected characteristic[5] and including information about nonbinary genders in any anti-harassment training activities.[3]
  • providing one or more gender-neutral bathrooms.[5][6]
  • when appropriate (i.e. when it will not "single out" a trans/nonbinary employee), have people introduce themselves with their name and pronoun.[7]
  • Consider workplace recognition of holidays such as International Nonbinary Day, Trans Day of Visibility, and International Pronouns Day.[8]
  • Workplace policies related to gender transition should not require a specific timeline or "pathway" for transition to follow.[9]
  • Make efforts to include coverage for transition-related services in employee health insurance.[6]

It is best to begin making these changes even before the employer has any employees who are openly nonbinary.[10][11]

Some employers in the USA have to file a yearly Equal Employment Opportunity report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As of 2019, although the EEO reporting forms still only have Male/Female as gender options, it is suggested that information on nonbinary employees be reported in the comment box as "Additional Employee Data".[12][13]

Tips for employees/job seekersEdit

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While job-seekingEdit

If you are already out as nonbinary, you can add your pronouns to your LinkedIn profile, resume, business card, email signature, or Zoom name, if you are comfortable with these options.

If you use a different name than your legal name, or if your current name is different than the name you used at previous jobs, it may cause problems in the background check/reference check process, so you may want to give the interviewer a heads up. However, you may want to wait until a job offer is made to tell them this, depending on if you think it will affect your chance of being hired.

During the interview, you could fish for information on whether the employer is accepting of nonbinary people by asking if they have gender-neutral restrooms in the workplace,[6] or inquiring about the employer's approach to diversity/inclusion.[14]

While employedEdit

See alsoEdit

Further reading/resourcesEdit

  • Fleenor, S.E. "7 Job Search Tips for Transgender and Nonbinary Folks". The Muse.
  • Katz, Joeli (19 October 2020). "Interviewing While Non-Binary".
  • White, Erin (12 March 2019). "Coming out as nonbinary at work". (includes example letter)
  • "Discrimination in the Workplace: Is There Recourse for Nonbinary Individuals Facing Discrimination at Work?". 1 July 2021.
  • Valentine, Ginger (30 August 2019). "Job-hunting as a non-binary trans person: Help wanted".
  • Legal Aid at Work and Beyond Binary Legal (March 2022). "Transgender and Nonbinary Workers' Toolkit". (Available in English and Spanish)


  1. Out & Equal (2018). "BEST PRACTICES FOR NON-BINARY INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE" (PDF). Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  2. Davidson, Skylar (2016). "Gender inequality: Nonbinary transgender people in the workplace". Cogent Social Sciences. 2 (1).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Smith, Allen (16 February 2018). "How to Accommodate 'Gender-Nonbinary' Individuals—Neither Men nor Women". SHRM. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  4. Hendrick; Meneghello; Behymer (1 January 2018). ""M," "F," Or "X"? Nonbinary Gender Designations In The Workplace". Fisher Phillips. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Brenton, M.; Evans, K. (2 July 2020). "An Update On Nonbinary Gender Designations In The Workplace". Fisher Phillips. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Moore, Emily (11 October 2019). "Beyond the Binary: Navigating the Workplace as a Gender Nonconforming Individual". Glassdoor. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  7. GLAAD (11 June 2019). "The Right Way to Use Gender Pronouns at Work". Oprah Magazine. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  8. "Employment law and non-binary people: what employers need to know". Lewis Silkin. 15 September 2020. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  9. Zheng, Lily (20 November 2020). "Transgender, Gender-Fluid, Nonbinary, and Gender-Nonconforming Employees Deserve Better Policies". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  10. Allen, Samantha (11 September 2018). "Workplaces Need to Prepare for the Non-Binary Future". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  11. "Appendix C: Best practices checklist". Ontario Human Rights Commission. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  12. "How To Complete EEO-1 Report With Non-Binary Employees". Fisher Phillips. 23 August 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  13. "EEOC FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)". Archived from the original on 18 December 2019.
  14. Moore, Emily (9 July 2020). "8 Interview Questions to Evaluate If A Company is *Really* Inclusive". Glassdoor. Retrieved 28 August 2021.