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Why Add Pronouns to Your Signature Line?

Aug 11, 2022

 

In the traditional gender binary system, you are either male or female. 

Life is not that simple, though. For starters, some individuals do not identify with the sex they were born with. And to complicate matters, a simple Google search of “How many genders are there?” will provide you with a list of as many as 72 genders.

So, why bother with adding pronouns to our signature line? Here are a few reasons:

  • It prevents individuals from accidentally misgendering us and assuming our gender.
  • It makes it clear how I want individuals to refer to me.
  • It helps normalize conversations about gender identity.
  • It is an effective way to show support for our trans and non-binary colleagues.
  • It makes us more approachable because it signals to others we are more likely to respect individuals’ gender identities.

More importantly, it signals you are running a forward-thinking and inclusive organization. In other words, it makes it clear that employees don’t have to hide significant parts of their identity and can bring their whole selves to work.

How to start? Simply add your pronouns to your signature line. As a leader, take a step further and send out a memo encouraging everyone in the organization who wishes to do so, to follow your lead.

Let me be clear, though. Do not make this a mandateThat is because some employees may not be ready to come out at work or may not wish to do so. This is an individual choice.

If you want to know what someone’s preferred pronouns are? Very easy—just ask them. A simple “What pronouns do you use?” will do it.

Upcoming topics:

  • Are you “woke” yet? And what does that even mean?
  • How to react in a productive way when you are called a ______________.
  • You hear an offensive joke? What should you do?
  • How to meet the needs of “religious nones” in the workplace.
  • Why certain employees never say “no” to you and how you can get around that.
  • Why didn’t they say something? Recognizing what is preventing some employees from fully participating in meetings.
  • They/them as singular pronouns (I am not kidding!)

 

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