Why we share our pronouns and why you should too. 

You may have noticed that people share their pronouns in introductions, on name tags, or in their email signatures, and maybe you’re wondering, “what’s that all about?”  This is happening to make spaces more inclusive for all people regardless of their gender identity or gender expression. More importantly, it creates safer spaces for transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender non-binary people. Including pronouns is a first step toward respecting a person’s gender identity, working against cisnormality, and creating a more welcoming space for people of all genders.

Gender pronouns are words that an individual would like others to use when talking to or about them. Some commonly used pronouns are “he, him, his” and “she, her, hers.” However, people may choose to use pronouns that don’t conform to binary male/female gender categorizations, such as “they, them, theirs.”

Until recently, you may have heard people inquiring about or sharing preferred gender pronouns, though there has been a shift away from the term ‘preferred gender pronoun’ or ‘PGP’ to simply using ‘pronoun.’ This change was made because a person’s pronouns are not just preferred; they’re the pronouns that must be used.

Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace can be a complex task, but the important thing is to create an environment where people feel comfortable bringing their authentic self to work, and where people can learn in safe and trusted spaces. One step you can take to ensure communications are inclusive is enabling conversations about people’s gender pronouns, and modeling the practice for others to follow, as we do in our email signatures.

If you’d like to learn more about centering equity or building inclusive workplaces, consider joining us for an upcoming Race and Identity workshop, or just reach out for a chat. We’d love the opportunity to help you center equity in your work, too.