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Engineer Inclusion

What is nonbinary? Simple Ways to Be Inclusive of Nonbinary Colleagues

"What is...?" Talk Series

The live “what is…?” talk series aims to bring clarity, humanity, and strategies to a particular topic. Learn more and explore other recordings and upcoming events.
talk series nonbinary

Nonbinary is a term for people who do not identify as or subscribe to the gender binary of woman or man. Nonbinary people, sometimes called N.B. or enby, face many challenges as they strive to live authentically. Most systems and institutions were not built to be inclusive of nonbinary people, and the underlying ideologies that remain anchored in the binary contribute to cultures and climates that marginalize and exclude them. In this recorded live discussion, panelists and participants share tips for understanding nonbinary colleagues, clients, or students and strategies to be more inclusive of nonbinary people.

November 10, 2022 @ 12 – 1 PM CT on Zoom

Facilitator:

Dr. Meagan Pollock, Engineer Inclusion founder

Panelists:

H Frederick, Nonbinary Consulting

Leslie Tetteh

The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation, also known as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle, is an ongoing economic trend in which employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs en masse, beginning in early 2021 largely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. (From Wikipedia)

Additional Reading

Recording

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE LIVE PANEL:

Panelists

Dr. Meagan Pollock

Dr. Meagan Pollock began her career playing with light projection on tiny microscopic mirrors as an engineer for Texas Instruments. Through her company, Engineer Inclusion, she now utilizes metaphorical projectors and mirrors to shine a light on micro and macro social systems that, when adjusted, improve student and employee success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

A TEDx speaker, author, and a past recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Meagan holds a PhD in engineering education from Purdue University, an MS in electrical engineering from Texas Tech University, and a BS in computer science from Texas Woman’s University. As an engineer turned educator, Meagan focuses on helping others intentionally engineer inclusion™ in education and the workforce.

Read her full bio here.

H Frederick

Frederick (they/them) is a bisexual nonbinary writer, speaker, educator and activist. They have dedicated over 20 years to community organizing, spending the last decade of their career serving nonprofit organizations at the local, state, regional, and national levels. Frederick’s expertise comes at the intersection of domestic violence, reproductive justice, and LGBTQIA+ issues. Their education includes Bachelor of Arts degrees in Spanish, Women’s Studies, and Linguistics from San Diego State University, and a Master of Arts degree in Gender & Peacebuilding from the United Nations-Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica.

Frederick is passionate about accessibility and language justice and has dabbled in Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Turkish, Polish, Dutch, Irish, Nahuatl, and Miwok, the language of the original people of the area of California where they were born and raised. When they’re not reading, writing, or studying languages, mindfulness, or anti-racism, Frederick loves to travel, eat, dance, admire trees, and spend time with lovely humans and animals. They consider themself a semi-professional booper of snoots, and yes, they absolutely want to see a picture of your furbaby.

To book them check out www.nonbinaryconsulting.com.

Leslie Tetteh

Leslie (they/she) identifies as a queer, non-binary person. She spent some of her childhood in Ghana, West Africa, and most of their childhood near Westchester, New York. Growing up in a predominately white neighborhood, Leslie was always aware of their race and cultural identity. While they were earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo, Leslie was instantly drawn to the Office of Multicultural Affairs. This haven was one of the first places Leslie felt safe exploring their intersecting identities. Since then, Leslie has been committed to creating welcoming and inclusive communities for other queer Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Her mission is to let other Black non-binary folks know they are not alone. Leslie moved to Michigan to earn a Master’s in Higher Education with a focus on diversity, equity & inclusion and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan. As a graduate student, Leslie supported LGBTQ+ students through their roles at the Spectrum Center and Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA). 

In 2019, Leslie came out as non-binary. Coming out as non-binary has been a terrifyingly life-saving journey. It’s provided Leslie a chance to truly live without expectations and embrace all of who they are, including their experiences growing up as a Black woman. Leslie is committed to creating spaces where all QTBIPOC folks can be authentic in whatever way feels safe and comfortable for them. Their experience with coming out has been a roller coaster full of pain, joy, healing, and complexities, yet, they wouldn’t trade their experience for anything else. Leslie currently works as an Equity & Inclusion Specialist for Planned Parenthood of Michigan. Outside of work, Leslie can be found at the dog park with their goofy poodle, binging Netflix limited series, thrifting with their partner and community, or making shea butter lotion. 

Takeaways

Listen & Learn

Learn the difference between sex and gender. Explore the influence and limitations of the gender binary on normative ways of knowing and doing. When people tell you their experiences, or tell you how they'd like to be addressed -- believe them and respect their wishes.

Neutralize Language

Avoid gendered terms like ladies and gentleman, guys, his/her, etc. Try using terms like folks, yal, everyone, or their.

Pronouns

Make it a normal practice to share and display pronouns. Respect the pronouns given to you, and make every effort to honor requests.

Dress Codes

Change gendered dress code policies. Be wary of "professionalism" standards.

Stereotypes

Don't perpetuate gendered stereotypes.

Records & Policies

Allow people to use preferred names, as legal names may not reflect how people want to be addressed.

If you need to ask for gender, be inclusive of gendered identities. Here are some options to consider.

  • Woman
  • Man
  • Transgender Woman
  • Transgender Man
  • Non-Binary
  • Agender/I don’t identify with any gender
  • Gender not listed. My gender is ______________
  • Prefer not to state

Facilities

Have bathrooms and facilities that anyone can use.

Train Staff

Train staff to facilitate equitable and inclusive environments. We can help!

Resource Groups

Provide community and resource groups for gender expansive or gender nonconforming folx.

Meagan Pollock, PhD

Dr. Meagan Pollock envisions a world where personal and social circumstances are not obstacles to achieving potential, and where kindness, inclusivity, and conservation prevail.

An international speaker, teacher, engineer, and equity leader, her mission is to provide services, tools, and resources that inspire awareness and initiate action.

As an engineer turned educator, Meagan Pollock is focused on engineering equity into education and the workforce.

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About EI

We help people intentionally and systematically engineer equity and inclusion into their organizations: driving positive outcomes and effectively supporting employees and the community.

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This TEDx talk examines a four-part, iterative, reflective, and reflexive framework for developing into an inclusive leader.

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