IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Spark NZ launches Beyond Binary Code for gender inclusion

By Zach Thompson
Fri 25 Feb 2022

Spark NZ has launched a new tool intended to promote visibility and inclusion for non-binary communities online.

OutLine Aotearoa worked closely with non-binary communities in creating the Beyond Binary Code.

Firstly, a company will need to be assisted in understanding whether it needs to collect gender-related data and, if so, what to collect, and how to collect it inclusively.

If a company decides it does need to collect gender data, the Beyond Binary Code creates a 'copy and paste' HTML code which Spark adds is straightforward and easy to use.

Once the code is implemented, the company's online forms will include options specific to their use cases, such as name and legal name, pronouns, prefixes, and a range of gender options that acknowledge gender diverse communities such as non-binary and takatāpui. There will also be an open field for individuals to enter their own, or if they would rather not say.

"Data can play a valuable role in helping businesses to better serve the needs of their customers. But for Kiwis who are beyond the gender binary of male and female, when that data isn't collected or used correctly it can create deeply negative experiences on a daily basis," Spark New Zealand CEO Jolie Hodson says.

"Our new Beyond Binary Code [provides] businesses with a trusted source to improve their gender data collection practices and in turn help them build more inclusive, gender-friendly online experiences for their employees and customers."

"Ultimately, through publishing the code, we hope to encourage digital equity at an enterprise level – influencing big data systems in businesses to help people from all genders feel valued and visible online and in time, build an internet with richer, more sophisticated datascapes that represent the diversity of Aotearoa," Hodson says.

A survey of non-binary participants conducted by Spark and OutLine Aotearoa found that more than 84% of respondents felt often or always misrepresented when sharing their gender information online with a business or organisation.

"We've been taking important steps forward in Aotearoa to affirm authentic identity in everyday lives, including simplifying the process to change the gender recorded on official documents to reflect how a person identifies," Labour Party Rainbow Caucus Chair and MP for Northcote, Shanan Halbert says.

"I welcome Spark's Beyond Binary Code, which will now enable New Zealanders to use the pronouns and gender options that best represent them in the online world as well.

"Fundamentally this is about respecting people for who they know themselves to be and giving businesses the tools to recognise this when they interact with their customers," Halbert adds.

The survey also found 89% of respondents would be more likely to repurchase from a business that offers a positive experience when collecting gender data.

The same respondents would also be more likely to engage with a company and feel their needs are being met if it is actively improving its data processing systems to be more gender-inclusive.

In contrast, 51% of respondents said they wouldn't recommend a business to a friend if they felt it had misrepresented them.

In addition to input from OutLine Aotearoa and non-binary communities, the recommendations generated by Beyond Binary Code are informed by Statistics New Zealand's updated standards on how data related to gender, sex and variations of sex characteristics should be collected.

Furthermore, Spark says the code uses best practices collected from a range of reputable sources such as the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and Te Ngākau Kahukura.

"I think what's really important to recognise is how such a small action like including they/them pronouns can make a huge impact to someone like me. I feel seen and respected. It shows me this company doesn't just want my money, but genuinely holds a space for me," non-binary takatāpui creative and advocate for rainbow communities, Quack says.

"I understand that I'm a minority, but that doesn't mean I deserve any less respect, or any less thought should go into representing people like me. I hope businesses take this on board and create meaningful change with the use of the Beyond Binary Code," Quack says.

The Beyond Binary Code website also provides a toolkit of resources to assist businesses in making their workplaces more inclusive.

Spark says the resources include a downloadable guide to assist businesses in applying data privacy principles and a presentation they can use to help educate for broader company buy-in to create change within an organisation.

"Often businesses default to asking for gender without considering why they need that information and how it might impact the people on the other end of the form," OutLine Aotearoa General Manager Claire Black says.

"OutLine sees this Code, and its supporting resources, as a catalyst for creating better experiences that support and affirm the wellbeing of both non-binary people and Rainbow communities more broadly in Aotearoa."

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybercrime
The ups and downs and runarounds of catching cybercriminals
We're becoming more and more aware of cybercrimes but how many criminals actually get caught? The New Zealand police explain why the answer is complicated.
Story image
Informatica
Informatica, Oracle enter strategic global cloud partnership
Oracle named Informatica as a preferred partner for enterprise cloud data integration and data governance for data warehouse and lakehouse solutions on OCI. 
Story image
Chorus
Chorus and Nokia launches first trial of 25G PON broadband
Chorus and Nokia have announced the successful demonstration of 25 gigabit per second fibre (Gbps) broadband technology at the Chorus Fibre Lab in Auckland. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Rackspace
Skills shortages hold orgs back from capitalising on cloud 2.0
Organisations are becoming more comfortable with sophisticated 'cloud 2.0' technologies, even as they confront difficulties in hiring and retaining IT talent.
Story image
Alteryx
Alteryx releases updates, empowers data insights for enterprise
Alteryx has released new advancements designed to aid enterprises with cloud analytics, democratise insights and ensure data governance.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Similarweb acquires SEO and rank tracking company Rank Ranger
Digital intelligence company Similarweb, which specialises in analysing web traffic, has acquired Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking.
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Getty Images delves into the world of NFTs with Candy Digital
Getty Images and Candy Digital, the next-generation digital collectible company, have announced a new multi-year partnership agreement.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
MEC
MEC spending for private cellular networks to reach $5.8b
A new ABI Research report finds the revenue for Multi Access Edge Compute (MEC) deployments for private cellular networks will reach USD$5.8 billion by 2030.
Story image
DaaS
NetApp launches Spot PC, a new Desktop-as-a-Service solution
This is a new managed cloud DaaS solution with security, automation, observability and optimisation capabilities, designed for the needs of today.
Story image
Women in Technology
Huawei webinar emphasises the importance of women in tech
Industry findings by Coursera discussed as part of a webinar jointly organised by Huawei and Reuters Events found 6% more women enrolled in tech courses this year than in 2021.
Story image
Ransomware
CERT NZ releases first Cyber Security Insights for 2022
CERT NZ has released Quarter One: Cyber Security Insights 2022, which offers an overview of reports about cybersecurity incidents affecting New Zealanders.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Harnessing digital innovations to maximise loyalty programmes and improve CX
When it comes to the retail sector, merchants have never had access to so many different client touchpoints and data to understand their customers better.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Infosys
Consumer relationships with digital services continues to change
Two years of pandemic-induced reliance on technology for work has altered our relationship with digital apps and services, new research has found.
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
Sustainability
Aligned Data Centers increases sustainability-linked loan
Aligned Data Centers has increased its sustainability-linked loan from $375 million to $1.75 billion to speed up the next phase of its strategic growth.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Digital transformation increasing business complexities
A new survey suggests businesses must re-examine their digital transformation approach to better help employees adapt to change.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Multi Cloud
Red Hat updates dev tools, empowers use of hybrid and multicloud
Red Hat has unveiled updates across its portfolio of developer tools, designed to help organisations build and deliver applications faster.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
CrescoData
SPS network now available to CrescoData eCommerce customers
CrescoData, a Pitney Bowes Company and PaaS business in the commerce space, says its customers can now connect to the SPS Commerce Retail Network.
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Sustainability
SoftIron named global leader for efficient DC infrastructure solutions
SoftIron has been named a global leader for supplying energy-efficient data infrastructure solutions for core-to-edge data centers after an assessment by Earth Capital Ltd.