This is the first of 10 installations of Envol’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Series!
Our goal is to support organization leaders in taking real action to advance DEI within their teams, throughout their business, and in their communities.
Let’s jump right into 10 ways that you can integrate the use of pronouns into your business today!
Why Sharing Pronouns is Important
For those who identify as the gender they were born as, sharing pronouns may not be something you see as relevant or important to yourself… but it’s not actually about you!
In fact, sharing your pronouns at the beginning of an interaction with a new acquaintance effectively creates the space for them to comfortably share how they identify.
It demonstrates respect, consideration, and acceptance. Ultimately, sharing your pronouns creates a safe and inclusive space for everyone.
- Openly welcome candidates to share their pronouns during the application process on your Career Site.
- Include an invitation to share pronouns on each Job Advertisement (i.e., including postings on external job boards).
- Interviewers can begin each interview by sharing their pronouns and creating space for the interviewee to share theirs too. Never assume that someone feels safe enough to share their pronouns. It is always a choice, and pronouns can be fluid depending on the context.
Team Connection Channels
- If your company uses an Employee Portal or Human Resources Information System (HRIS) to keep track of employee information, be sure that inclusive pronoun options are available under Employee Profile options.
- Address your team with neutral language – everyone, folks, team, crew. Avoid “guys,” “ladies,” and other terms associated with gendered pronouns.
- Share your pronouns on your professional (and personal) accounts, such as Zoom, LinkedIn, Slack, Teams, and more. (Encourage your team to do the same if they feel comfortable doing so!)
- Share your pronouns in your email signature. This helps to normalize the practice of pronoun-sharing, eliminates any uncertainty in how you would like to be addressed, and demonstrates an inclusive mindset.
- Ensure your policies are compliant with anti-discrimination standards/legislation in your province. The use of pronouns based on an individual’s preference should be protected by your company’s Bullying & Harassment and/or Anti-Discrimination policies.
- Promote inclusion and safety within your organization by creating a Preferred Name policy. This helps to delineate the use of legal names from preferred names and is critical in supporting and protecting your transgender team members.
Lean into Learning
If you’ve misgendered someone, you probably felt uncomfortable and uncertain of how to proceed. Approach these scenarios with an open heart and mind that enables you to show up in solidarity with the LBGTQIA2S+ community.
- When someone corrects you on their preferred pronouns, avoid the urge to profusely apologize. This makes the situation about you, when it’s actually about them. Thank them for telling you, then move on with the conversation. Next time, be cognizant of this person’s identity and address them by their preferred pronouns!
Stay tuned for our next post in this series where we cover what an Equal Opportunity Employer Statement is, how to create one, and where you should use it!