State Department Offers Counseling To Employees Misgendered In Emails

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The State Department is offering counseling services to employees that were misgendered during a new email system rollout, the Washington Free Beacon first reported Friday.

The department introduced a new email tool Thursday intended to let employees add preferred pronouns to their name displays on emails, rather than just having them in email signatures. However, there was a “glitch,” and scores of employees were randomly assigned various pronouns on their email addresses — oftentimes the wrong ones.

The error reportedly caused discomfort for at least some number of employees, who can now seek counseling.

“I want to stress that the intent behind making this feature available is to make our systems more inclusive and provide employees with options—not to make decisions for them,” read an email to employees from Chief Information Officer Kelly E. Fletcher obtained by the Free Beacon. “I recognize that this error had the opposite effect, and again, I am very sorry.”

Fletcher added she regrets the “confusion and distress” the glitch caused. (RELATED: Biden Admin Quietly Paves Way For Foreign Countries To Ramp Up Influence Ops On Think Tanks)

The new pronoun tool was raised during Thursday’s State Department press briefing, when Associated Press reporter Matt Lee told State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel that the feature was “ridiculous.”