Gender Identity Initiative

Our Goal

The Gender Identity Initiative (GII) aims to identify and implement changes to MIT systems that will improve inclusive representation of gender identities while protecting individual privacy, enabling greater autonomy, and meeting legal requirements. This includes legal sex, gender identity, name, and pronouns.

Who We Are

The Gender Identity Initiative consists of a Working Group and a Steering Committee. The GII Working Group was formed in June 2022 and includes staff with a wide range of perspectives and expertise from offices such as Admissions, Human Resources, Information Systems & Technology, Institute Community and Equity Office, Institutional Research, LBGTQ+ Services, Office of the General Counsel, and the Registrar’s Office, along with student representatives.

The Working Group presents recommendations for feedback and approval to the GII Steering Committee, composed of senior leaders from HR, ICEO, IS&T, and OVC. The current membership of both groups is listed below.

GII Steering Team:

  • Ramona Allen, Vice President for Human Resources
  • Dan Hastings, Interim Institute Community and Equity Officer
  • Lauryn McNair: Assistant Dean of Intercultural Engagement for LBGTQ+, Women and Gender Services
  • Mark Silis, Vice President IS&T
  • Ian Waitz, Vice Chancellor

GII Working Group:

  • Sheryl Barnes: Open Learning
  • Bill Brids: IS&T
  • Gabe Campos: Human Resources
  • Meg Churhan: Institute Discrimination and Harassment Response
  • Kyle Filipe: IS&T
  • Sucharita Ghosh: Atlas Service Center
  • Cal Gunnarson: Graduate student (Biological Engineering)
  • Peter Hayes: Registrar’s Office
  • Ariel Leitao Leonelli: Admissions Office
  • Libby Mahaffy: Human Resources
  • Lauryn McNair: Assistant Dean of Intercultural Engagement for LBGTQ+, Women and Gender Services
  • Beth Milnes: Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
  • Rachel Ornitz: LBGTQ+ Employee Resource Group; Institute Community and Equity Office
  • Allison Romantz: Office of General Counsel
  • Jon Schwarz: MIT Institutional Research
  • Kate Trimble: Office of the Vice Chancellor
  • Undergraduate student representative
  • Jane White: Human Resources

Our Guiding Principles

The work of the GII is guided by five important principles, drawn from a 2022 NASEM report entitled Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation. These principles are:

  1. Inclusiveness: People deserve to count and be counted.
  2. Precision: Use precise terminology that reflects the constructs of interest. 
  3. Autonomy: Respect identity and autonomy. 
  4. Parsimony: Collect only necessary data.
  5. Privacy: Use data in a manner that benefits respondents and respects their privacy and confidentiality.


Project Phases

Given the complexity of MIT’s student and staff systems and the sensitivity of gender identity information, the GII is approaching the project in phases.

  • Phase One (summer 2022) focused on how the Institute collects, stores, uses, and protects gender and sex data.
  • Phase Two (fall 2022/winter 2023) is examining personal pronouns, forms of address, and legal/directory names.


For future updates and more information

As more details about the project become available, they will be posted here. If you have any comments, concerns, or ideas to share, please email us at


Other ways to stay informed and get involved

Students: sign up for the LBGTQ+ Office’s weekly emails or monthly newsletter for services, programs, and events. You can also follow the office on Instagram @rainbow_lounge_mit.

Employees: subscribe to the QStaff mailing list of the LBGTQ+ Employee Resource Group, or contact the ERG co-leads.



Frequently Asked Questions


How can MIT community members make changes to their identity information?

Information about name changes, gender Information about name changes, gender changes, and MIT ID cards is available on the LBGTQ+ Services website (for MIT students) and in this downloadable HR resource (for MIT employees).

How can I report a gender-related issue with an MIT system? 

If you experience an issue or problem with an MIT system that is related to gender identity, you can email us at

What do I do if I have experienced or witnessed gender-based discrimination or harassment at MIT? 

Report the incident to the Institute Discrimination & Harassment Response Office (IDHR).

I’m a departmental administrator/faculty member/staff person and have questions about how I should collect and use gender identity data. Who can I ask?

Check out this guide to gender and data for DLCs. If you still have questions, send an email to, and we’ll either answer your question or route it to someone who can. We’re happy to help!

Jump to:

Other Resources


MIT Gender Identity Initiative Status Report: Fall 2022


Gender Data at MIT: A guide for departments, labs, and centers


LBGTQ+ Services

LBGTQ+ Services ensures a safe and supportive campus-wide community where students of diverse gender, romantic, and sexual identities are all welcomed as equals. Check out the Trans resource page that compiles information from across MIT for trans students to better navigate resources and systems.

Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Queer (LBGTQ) Employee Resource Group

The LBGTQ Employee Resource Group promotes an inclusive community for lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer employees.

MIT’s Nondiscrimination Policy

The Institute prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other Institute administered programs and activities.