Making Space: Gender-Inclusivity in Professional Spaces

  • Career Level: Basic-, intermediate-, and advanced-level career services and university relations and recruiting professionals
  • Competency: Organizing information, logistics, people, and processes toward desired outcomes
  • Fee: $49 (member); $69 (nonmember);
    Add to Cart Order by Phone: 610.625.1026

  • Summary

    How do ensure that your workplace culture is welcoming to all gender-identities? Today’s students and early professionals are looking for spaces that welcome all gender-identities. One place we can start is in evaluating professional dress standards and guidelines. Many offices have professional dress guidelines that are rooted in a gender binary and can often lead to microaggressions against students and early professionals who have identities beyond the binary. Creating an inclusive space will help students and early professionals feel more seen, safe, and appreciated.

    In 2020, Virginia Commonwealth University adopted several programs and procedures to make sure students felt seen. The first was a revamp of one of career services’ most popular resources: the Suit Yourself Closet. Originally, the Closet was divided into a gender binary. The Closet has been revamped with a new inventory procedure, making the space as welcoming as possible to a wider spectrum of gender identity.

    The second was the Call Me By My Name initiative, which launched with a number of campus partners. The Call Me By My Name initiative gave students, faulty, and staff the opportunity to more easily and simultaneously update their name of use in multiple university systems. It also includes a pool of resources and advice to support stakeholders during and after adopting the language changes.

    Join staff from Virginia Commonwealth University to explore the journey taken to create more gender-inclusive spaces for students. Additionally, the presenter will discuss the challenges faced, the solutions developed, and strategies that can be adopted in professional offices today.

    Following this program, you will be able to:

    • Define and identify gender-inclusive challenges and solutions in professional dress and professional language standards;
    • Provide examples of best practices when evaluating a space for gender-inclusivity; and
    • Discuss methodologies and best practices for creating inclusive spaces during time dedicated to group reflection.


Visit the professional development FAQ page, or contact the NACE Education & Events Team via e-mail or phone, 610.625.1026.