CSIRO announces gender affirmation leave for trans employees


csiro mardi gras
Image: CSIRO

Australia’s peak science agency the CSIRO has announced it will give transgender employees access to paid gender affirmation leave.

Under the new category of leave, staff can take time off for medical appointments before and after surgery, as well as for administrative tasks such as changing birth certificates and documentation.

“The Gender Affirmation leave provides recognition and assistance for employees to undertake activities relating to affirming their gender without utilising all their other leave balances,” the CSIRO says.

The Pride@CSIRO Network Leadership group devised the scheme, as part of the organisation’s diversity and inclusion strategy.

Over 130 leaders within the CSIRO have also undergone diversity training under the strategy.

Pride@CSIRO Network Lead Chris Gerbing said the policy improvements are to help improve CSIRO’s innovation and scientific research.

“By empowering all staff to be themselves at work, we have grown an inclusive and diverse workplace culture,” Gerbing said.

“We know that diversity of thought is crucial to doing impactful science… Innovation happens when you bring together people with different views and experiences.”

A 2021 survey in research journal Nature showed only 40 per cent of workers at science institutions felt their employers were doing enough for diversity.

But Gerbing said last year, 85 per cent of their LGBTQI+ employees told a company survey they’d recommend the CSIRO as an inclusive place to work.

CSIRO staff marched in Mardi Gras Parade

On Saturday night, a contingent of CSIRO staff marched in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.

The staff were dressed as Power Rangers for their 2022 theme “Power to Shine”.

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