To celebrate international pronouns day Jo, our communications and engagement lead, shares her story family’s story and why she thinks pronouns are important
“Hello, I am Jo, and I am SHE/HER. My daughter is 23 and SHE is beautiful. SHE has a first-class honours degree in Cyber Security, and SHE is currently working and living with HER partner in Canada. I am so proud of HER. SHE is a transwoman and I am so proud to be HER mum.
Being recognised as SHE and HER is important to my daughter. But SHE would understand that it is not always easy to say the right thing.
Sometimes, the best way to find out other people’s pronouns, without putting the pressure onto them first, is to offer up your own. When you introduce yourself, you normally tell someone your name; Try adding your pronouns to that as well.
Pronouns are part of how you address a person in a respectful way. The most important thing is that you try, you listen, and you ask if you are unsure.
When you’re at work, you can take the lead by saying your pronouns when you introduce yourself at the start of a meeting. Not only will this encourage your colleagues to do the same, but it will help everyone get used to talking about pronouns, which will help trans people feel more comfortable to do the same. Including pronouns in e-mail signatures is another great way to show that you and your organisation is committed to trans equality:
- This helps people respectfully refer to one another.
- It helps staff avoid mistakes, like misgendering someone which can be especially hurtful for trans people, but also embarrassing for non-trans people.
- It can be a great tool for visibly demonstrating trans allyship both internally to your organisation and externally.”
Having an inclusive diverse workforce invites a broader range of thought, increased creativity and improved wellbeing at work.
It takes all staff to create an inclusive working environment, and everyone has a role to play.