UCOP Pride and Building Services partner to create more gender-inclusive bathrooms
Thanks to a partnership between the Building and Administrative Service Center (BASC), the UCOP Pride (Pride) employee resource group, and our leadership, UCOP will soon have gender-inclusive restrooms (GIRRs) on every floor of the Franklin and Broadway buildings, along with more ADA-compliant facilities.
“These new facilities are an important step in our efforts toward making UCOP an inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcome, respected and supported. We are now ahead of the curve in meeting UC and California state requirements,” says BASC Director Steve Murray.
Pride has been advocating to bring more GIRRs to UCOP. In June 2023, along with executive sponsors David Alcocer, associate vice president, Budget Analysis and Planning, and Pamela Brown, vice president, Institutional Research and Academic Planning, they submitted a request to leadership for more GIRRs, which was approved by EVP/COO Rachael Nava. BASC and UCOP Pride then worked together to determine the best approach for adding more GIRRs, including reviewing strategies from UC Riverside and UC Irvine.
While internal discussions were taking place, Director of A-G and Transfer Articulation Policy Chase Fischerhall and Digital Communications Specialist Ianna Urquhart led workshops to educate the UCOP community about GIRRs. “We provided general information about how GIRR bans impact everyone, then created space for discussion,” explains Chase. “Oftentimes, a lack of inclusive and accessible spaces comes from misperceptions that creating these spaces takes away from existing ones. We emphasized that our goal was to create more space for everyone.”
“This is about equity and visibility,” says Internal Communications Strategist and Pride member Dawn Robinson. “Even though this initiative has long been a focus and goal for Pride, our efforts will benefit the entire UCOP community. All gender restrooms, ADA-compliant facilities and lactation spaces ensure that any employee can access basic services as needed.”
Equity, Diversity and Belonging Program Manager Dennis McIver says that this process has been a perfect example of how ERGs can partner with leadership to effect change. “Pride members took a holistic approach to this situation — they built awareness, advocated for change and then served as thought-partners in envisioning solutions.” Dennis says. “It was also hugely valuable to be able to call upon Pride’s executive sponsors for their insight, feedback and influence.”
Tags: gender-inclusive bathrooms, gender-inclusive restrooms, oakland, UCOP Pride