• Juliana Sanchez

Pronouns: More Than Just Words

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

Indeed’s #EmpathyAtWork campaign sparks a much needed conversation about inclusivity and what we as employers and employees can do to create a more accepting work environment. In continuing the initiative to make transgender and non-binary people feel more comfortable in the workplace, here are some things we can learn from Indeed’s campaign:

It all starts with the interviewing process

Anyone who has gone through the interview process knows that it can be extremely stressful. From applying to the job listing to preparing for the interview, it can be nerve-racking wondering what you’re going to be asked and if you’ll answer it acceptably. To make people feel comfortable during this process, interviewers should take the lead in stating their own pronouns. By doing this, the interviewee will feel comfortable sharing their pronouns, which will ensure that they won’t be misgendered at any point during the interview.

Misgendering someone can have serious implications and can be harmful, both mentally and emotionally. Whether it’s intentional or not, misgendering someone means that you are failing to recognize the personal identity of an individual. An interviewer should avoid this at all costs and ensure that gender-expansive people feel comfortable from start to finish.

Pronouns are not a preference

In an article from LinkedIn by Chris Mossier, he states that the use of the term “preferred pronouns'' needs to stop. Pronouns are how people identify themselves and should be taken seriously, not just “considered.” If there is anything that we can learn from Indeed’s campaign, it’s that we cannot expect people to show up and perform their job duties if they can’t express who they are. One of the basic principles found within all companies is to treat everyone with respect and courtesy, and this doesn’t stop with the LGBTQ+ community.

Simple ways to show inclusivity

There are various ways in which companies can begin to show inclusivity in the workplace. Small actions such as including your pronouns in email signatures and video conferences can have a significant impact. Not only will this action encourage others to share their pronouns, but it can pave the way for a more inclusive company culture. While this can be a step in the right direction for your company culture, don’t stop there.

An article written by Eric Mosley on Forbes discusses how simple actions meant to show inclusivity can become one-time practices. If initiatives meant to show inclusivity aren’t implemented further, the impact won't be as profound.

Make inclusivity part of your company culture

While stating your pronouns is a great first step, there’s still a lot that can be done to ensure that your company is accepting of others. Teaching your employees and coworkers about the importance of inclusivity and what it means can set the foundation for a more accepting community. Implementing inclusivity programs and collaborating with employees about what changes can be made for the betterment of the company can go a long way. The key factor here for these initiatives is involving employees and making it a team effort.

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