Children's Arts & Science Workshops, Inc.

Respecting Pronouns

Nothing is more personal than how people refer to us; just as your name should be an unmistakable identifier of you, so should your pronouns. In the workplace, just as with anywhere else, referring to someone by their chosen name and pronouns is a form of basic courtesy. In honor of International Non-Binary Day, here are some suggestions for respecting gender identity in the workplace.

  • Include your pronouns in your email signature and other communications at work in order to foster a culture of inclusivity. Choosing to disclose your pronouns helps to normalize the practice, and can lessen the anxiety others may feel about disclosing their own.
  • If you accidentally misgender someone, be sure to apologize and thank them for correcting you. This shows that you’re willing to take responsibility for your mistake. Try and set reminders for yourself so that you’re able to refer to them correctly in the future.
  • When referring to your colleagues as a group, try and incorporate inclusive language (I.E. “Welcome, everyone!” versus “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen!”). The point is to be mindful of those who do not identify with the gender binary, so try to use pronouns such as “they/them” over “his/her.”
  • When using honorifics such as “Mr” or “Mrs,” consider gender fluid alternatives such as “Mx.”

It’s important to give colleagues the platform through which to share how they should be addressed, however, it’s also important to avoid pressuring anyone who is not comfortable disclosing information.  In order to avoid putting someone on the spot, simply introduce yourself by stating their pronouns, and invite anyone else who is comfortable to share.