Growth through Talent

Importance of Sharing your Pronouns at the Workplace

 31st May 2022

 

“To you, it’s just a word. To them, it’s a fight to be recognised as a person”

 

Words are powerful communication tools that allow us to connect and express meaning. Everything around us is communicated, characterised, and described through words. Nothing could be more personal than how people refer to us through our names and pronouns. It might take months, if not years, to create a diverse and inclusive workplace, and one key element of the equation is taking the time to open up dialogues regarding people's pronouns.

 

Gender pronouns: What Are They? Gender pronouns, sometimes known as PGPs, are words that people prefer others to use when speaking to or about them. Let’s discover some facts about gender at work :

 

According to a research conducted by Mermaid, it was found:

  • 3 in 5 (61%) Britain’s never ask someone their pronouns when meeting for the first time, and less than one in ten (6%) said they ask each new person they meet. When asked why, 45% said they did not feel the need to ask, and a fifth (22%) presumed a person’s pronouns based on their physical or sex-based characteristics. 

 

According to LGBT in Britain, work report:

  • Almost a third of non-binary people (31 per cent) and one in five trans people (18 per cent) don’t feel able to wear work attire representing their gender expression.
  • More than a third of LGBT staff (35 per cent) have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination.

 

This brings us to our topic of discussion, why does sharing gender pronouns in the workplace matters?

 

The most significant benefit of belonging and diversity is that it allows people to feel heard. You can't make your people feel heard until you know how to address them properly.

Personal names and pronouns are linked to a person's identity. It is important to show respect by using the correct pronouns, just as we may show respect by calling someone by their correct name(s). Using the incorrect pronoun might make a person feel uneasy, invalidated, or alienated.

It is important to remember that we should not make gender assumptions based on a person's name or physical appearance as they may not necessarily reflect their gender. Names are frequently tied to culture, and many names are used for different genders. It is also important to be mindful of not assuming someone’s gender just by looking at their name or even by just hearing their voice as some people do not identify with a binary gender.

According to a 2016 study, validating a person's pronouns — and, by implication, their gender — reduces melancholy and boosts self-esteem. A person who affirms another's pronoun usage can make them feel more at ease with their appearance and gender identity.

 

How can you promote inclusion through gender pronouns at your workplace?

 

There are many opportunities where you can ask for or offer pronouns, such as:

 

  1. Interview Process: Create a space for people to declare their preferred name and pronouns during the interviewing process.

 

  1. Onboarding Process: Create a space for people to declare their preferred name and pronouns during the onboarding process. These can be used to introduce new personnel.

 

  1. Social Networks, Digital directories, corporate social networks or platforms: As part of their profile, allow employees to self-identify their preferred name and pronouns. Gender pronouns can be easily introduced into the dialogue by including them in email signatures. This action works as both an internal reminder and an external awareness builder. Adding pronouns to simple but visible areas of your 'work-life' may seem insignificant, but it may have a huge impact by communicating that trans and non-binary people belong." Gender pronouns can, of course, be used in various contexts, such as:

 

  • Profiles on LinkedIn
  • Profiles of Zoom
  • Profiles on Slack

 

And if your organisation does not presently ask for employees' gender pronouns, you can be the one to start the conversation.

 

  1. Make offering personal pronoun part of introduction process at the start of meetings or events.

 

When it comes to diversity, there's always more work to be done, but the hardest part is getting started. Sharing your pronouns at your workplace can be that start. Feel free to reach out to our director and Co-Founder David Terry on 07554010308 or via email: david@pivotallondon.co.uk to know gain more guidance on Diversity and Inclusion at Workplace.


 
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