Norton Rose Fulbright misgendered its own staff last week after one of its IT systems went on the blink.
The global firm rolled out a new email signature block for Australian staff where they could specify the pronouns they wanted other people to use while talking about them.
Staff could insert pronouns such as ‘he/him’, ‘she/her’ or, if they decided the categories of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ were too tethered to restrictive gender roles to apply to their conception of themselves, ‘they/them’.
But the computers had other ideas and started changing people's pronouns at random, resulting in 35 instances of 'he/hims' becoming 'she/hers' and 'she/hers’ becoming 'he/hims'.
It is not known whether any non-binary staff were re-sexed, but in any event binary code’s rebellion against gender identity ideology was swiftly cancelled.
In an email to all Australian staff last Friday, the firm's Head of Service Delivery for the country, Dan Halford, explained that due to a software error "the pronouns displayed in your email signature may have changed to an incorrect identity. She/Her may have become He/Him, etc".
Halford advised staff to log out and then in again, as "The underlying data has been corrected".
An insider claimed the glitch only affected people who picked pronouns which did not match the sex noted on their NRF personnel records. "The computers in the Down Under offices of Norton Rose appear to be transphobic!" said the individual.
However, a spokesperson for Norton Rose Fulbright told RollOnFriday that the "regrettable software error" was random, and that it was "immediately addressed once detected and the issue was fully resolved within 30 minutes". You bet it was.
"We’re proud of initiatives such as these to support our people and have had overwhelmingly good feedback about them",
he she zie they added.