The new Google headquarters in London is known for many things: years of delays, being as long as The Shard is tall, and now for having gender neutral-bathrooms.
The Financial News reports that gender-neutral bathrooms are planned for the first building the company has designed outside of California. Google joins law firm Hogan Lovells, insurer Aviva, and consulting firm EY in including gender-neutral bathrooms in their London offices.
The debate around mixed-gender toilet facilities has heated up in recent years as proponents have argued that single-gender bathrooms exclude non-binary and transgender people. But some opponents of mixed bathrooms say they eliminate a “safe space” for women. In the United States, the issue of which bathrooms transgender people are allowed to use has been litigated at the ballot box and in courts around the county; the Supreme Court nearly took the matter up.
The issue has not been so contentious in the United Kingdom, and the country is likely to see an uptick in inclusive bathrooms. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has advocated for the need for more gender-neutral bathrooms in his plans for the financial hub. Earlier this year, a college at Oxford University also voted to change all bathrooms to gender-neutral facilities.