Gender Identity and Pronouns at Harvard

As part of Harvard’s commitment to creating an inclusive environment that welcomes the diversity of individuals and fosters belonging and equity, the University invites you to self-select your gender identity and add pronouns.  Providing this information is entirely voluntary; no one is required to provide this information.

This web page provides information about the collection of pronoun and gender identity information.

If you need support visit Harvard's Office for Gender Equity (OGE). The OGE Team provides a variety of resources, activities, information, and programs that serve LGBTQ+ individuals.

Learn more about Self-Identification at Harvard

Frequently Asked Questions: Gender Identity and Pronouns

Why does Harvard provide the opportunity to self-select gender-related information?

Providing employees with the opportunity to indicate their gender identity, gender marker, and pronouns is part of fostering a respectful and inclusive university community.  It recognizes that staff and faculty in our community hold a diversity of gender identities and use a variety of pronouns, and that each of these individuals is entitled to respect. Respecting people’s gender identities is consistent with University policy, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity.  

Where does information about pronouns appear?

Please note that sharing pronouns is optional. If entered, pronouns will be made visible in select HR systems and broadly to community members via the Harvard University Internal Directory (Harvard Key required).  

Where does information about prefixes appear?

Prefix information has been available in Harvard's directory, but there are new nonbinary options available. Again, sharing prefix information is optional.

Who has access to the gender identity that employees provide?

Gender Identity information is stored in the University’s payroll/personnel system of record and is classified as sensitive data.  Only certain members with approval access will be able to view and use this confidential data for diversity, development, and metric related business purposes.  Aggregated data reports based upon de-identified PeopleSoft records may be used to determine the demographic composition of our campus community, and to inform our community inclusion efforts. 

  

As required by law, gender identity information may not be used for discriminatory purposes and is treated confidentially. 

How can employees update their prefix/pronouns/gender identity?

Employees may update or remove gender identity and pronouns information at any time by logging into PeopleSoft Self Service>My Self-Service>Personal Details>, and selecting “Gender Identity”  

 

Employees may update or remove prefix information at any time by logging into PeopleSoft Self Service>My Self-Service>MyPersonal Details>, and selecting “Name” 

How were the options for gender identity determined?

A work group led by Harvard’s Office for Gender Equity and Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging developed these options in consultation with members of the LGBTQ+ Community Coalition. The LGBTQ+ Community Coalition convenes faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, student organizations, and the Office for Gender Equity to synthesize the collective knowledge, talents, and needs of LGBTQ+ communities at Harvard.

Who should I contact if I have more questions about this?

Questions about updating one’s information in PeopleSoft should be directed to edib@harvard.edu

Additional questions about why Harvard is collecting this information may be directed to oge@harvard.edu or edib@harvard.edu 

How can employees update their gender (or “gender marker”)?

Harvard University uses the term “gender marker” to refer to gender and offers employees three options for that field: Female, Male, and Nonbinary.

Employees may update gender marker information by logging into PeopleSoft Self Service>My Self-Service>MyPersonal Details>, and selecting “Gender Identity”.