If you’ve been using email in the past few years, you have probably noticed people including their pronouns (he/his, she/her, they/them) in their email signature.
It’s becoming a common thing in email signatures, on name tags and on social media and this is a great thing.
One of the great things about including your pronouns – even if you present to the world as your preferred gender – is that it normalizes it for others who might not feel safe or comfortable talking about gender.
Not everyone is comfortable or able to share their preferred pronouns – or maybe they are still figuring them out.
And it is important to note: Just because someone gives you their preferred pronouns doesn’t necessarily mean they identify as a particular gender. Some people who use she/her or he/him may still identify as non-binary (or in another way).
It all boils down to showing respect to one another and using someone’s preferred pronouns.
There isn’t any need for further questioning; respect the information you are given and then use it.
And while pronouns are important, it’s also fairly easy to use gender-neutral language when addressing groups.
This allows for a more welcoming and inclusive tone. Many languages are gendered and can be centered on men or the male experience. Think: Policeman, fireman, serviceman. So, when you use terms like serviceperson, chairperson or officer, you take the gender presumptions out of the equation – and you also set the tone that the space is truly for everyone.
Using the words, they or them, is also a good thing to practice, as it includes everyone.
REdCon is an organizational development firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio, with satellite offices in Washington, DC, and Las Vegas. We provide training, coaching, and strategic planning to a wide range of industries including, education, municipalities, non-profits, technology firms, and Fortune 500 companies.