Capturing gender data inclusively

Gender is one of the most common pieces of demographic data collected about people. Think about how often you have been asked to identify your gender in research surveys and membership registrations. There are various ways of capturing gender data, including a form asking for gender or simply getting you to select between M and F.

Unfortunately, many of the ways of asking for gender data can be exclusionary, forcing people to answer questions incorrectly or incompletely. By taking the time to carefully consider how you capture gender data, you can be more inclusive and accurate in your data collection.

When capturing gender data, it's important to consider what information you're actually seeking and whether you even need to capture gender data. The key is to make sure the question you ask provides the information you want, and only asks for information you're actually going to use.

The guidelines below highlight three key points about collecting gender data.