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Aug 30, 2022

Why Do Gender Pronouns Matter in the Workplace?


Everyone deserves to be recognized for who they are, whether out and about or in the workplace. Over the last few years, the use of gender pronouns to solidify a person’s definition of themselves has become an important topic.

At DEI Recruiting & Consulting, we aim to shed light on the importance of all aspects of diversity in the modern workplace. Let’s take a look at pronouns, what they are, why they matter in the workplace, and what your management can do to include this important area of diversity within your brand.

What Are Pronouns?

Pronouns themselves are nothing new in society. They are merely a word that a person uses to refer to themselves or that other people use when discussing another person.

Some of the most common pronouns used today are:

  • She/Her
  • He/Him
  • They/Them
  • Ze/Hir
  • Xe/Xem
  • Hy/Hym
  • Co/Cos

People are open to using one set or multiple sets of pronouns to define themselves.

The Importance of Gender Pronouns

The big question with many people who don’t understand the importance of using a person’s proper pronouns is: Why does it matter?

In short, a person’s pronoun is how they view themselves and their worth. Constantly being addressed by the wrong pronoun isn’t just annoying; it’s blatant disrespect towards affirming one’s identity.

Let’s dive into an example to nail the point home. Everyone has a name. You define yourself by your name.

Thus, how would it make you feel if everywhere you went and every interaction you had, people constantly called you the wrong name and continued to do so after you’ve politely corrected them.

It wouldn’t feel great, right? Well, that’s the struggle that so many genderqueer and non-binary individuals face when they try to make a name for themselves in a business environment that is so used to the cis approach to culture.

How Can Pronoun Use Benefit Your Workplace?

It should be clear that people take their pronouns to heart. Yet, how can recognizing employee pronouns in the workplace add value to your culture and success?

Let’s take a closer look.

Pronoun Recognition Makes Employees Comfortable

When management or other employees recognize an individual’s pronouns, they feel seen and accepted within the office environment. It’s so simple for “honest ignorance” to take a toll on a person’s comfort at work.

When pronouns are incorrectly used or completely ignored, it lowers morale and makes your employees feel like a cog in your job’s machine rather than a valued member of a functioning team.

Key Employee Retainment

Comfort is a benefit that leads directly into the next reason to correctly use pronouns in the workplace. When employees are recognized and feel ingrained in the office culture, they are likely to enjoy coming to work and remain an essential part of your team for years to come.

A Healthier Bottom Line

Finally, correct pronoun use can benefit your company’s bottom line in the long-term. No matter a person’s pronouns, their drive and experience put them in a position at your workplace.

Implementing pronoun recognition throughout your office culture creates a domino effect of recognition, retainment and brand success.

When your leadership correctly uses pronouns in the workplace, employees feel appreciated and are driven to produce their best work for the company. Every employee you’ve hired is essential to your bottom line.

So, when you can respect pronouns, improve your company’s culture through dedication and inclusive training, you retain valuable employees and make your brand the absolute best it can be.

What if You Make a Pronoun Mistake?

As you begin to normalize gender pronoun usage and encourage employees to do so as well, people are bound to make mistakes in the beginning and misgender other individuals.

Make a point to remind employees that if they realize their mistake right away, to simply apologize and correct themselves. If they realize their mistake after the fact, apologize privately and don’t linger on the issue.

Dwelling only magnifies the problem and creates discomfort when the person feels like they now have to comfort you for your misgendering mistake.

Implement Pronoun Use and More With the Help of DEI Recruiting & Consulting

Gender-inclusive language is necessary in any working environment. If you’re an office manager ready to bring more importance to inclusivity and diversity at your workplace, let the DEI Recruiting & Consulting experts help.

We have the expertise and tools to help you recruit the right candidates for your positions and provide inclusive training that helps reshape your office culture and retain valuable talent.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business today!

DEI Recruiting and Consulting