Normalize sharing pronouns to make your business a more welcoming space for all
How can employers make their workspaces more inclusive? How can a business that wants to welcome all community members demonstrate that value? The journey of equity and inclusivity in your place of work starts with ensuring you and your employees feel safe and comfortable at work. One of the best first steps to reaching that point is to normalize the sharing of pronouns in your business.
What does it mean to “normalize” a space for sharing of pronouns? Normalizing means just that – make it absolutely normal for anyone, regardless of identity, to share their identity in your workplace. For example, if it’s normal for cisgender employees to include their pronouns in their email signatures, transgender and nonbinary individuals may feel more comfortable including their pronouns as well.
Why should we normalize sharing pronouns in the workplace? Employee comfort should always be a priority. Uncomfortable and fearful employees are not longtime employees. Respecting employee identities and providing a place where they feel comfortable is essential for creating a safe space for employees.
How does one normalize pronouns in the workplace? There are some simple ways to create a space where employees feel comfortable to share their pronouns such as:
Include pronouns in your email signature (even if you are cisgender; remember the more people sharing their pronouns at work, the more comfortable everyone will feel doing the same)
Become a model for sharing pronouns by introducing yourself including your pronouns at meetings and beyond
Include pronouns on nametags or business cards for those who feel comfortable doing so
Be respectful of preferred pronouns and avoid misgendering
Remove gendered terminology from your documents and language
Listen to your employees and work to extend inclusion beyond just pronouns
The journey of equity and inclusion in the workplace is just that – a journey and it’s best not to let perfection be the enemy of good. Put into practice policies of inclusion and be ready to adjust and change as you learn and grow.