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“Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.” – Barbara Gittings

A pronoun is a word that can function by itself as a noun or noun phrase and refers to the subject of a sentence or conversation (such as I or you). Pronouns are also used to refer to someone or something mentioned elsewhere (such as she, he, it, or this). All people have a pronoun, and while grammar is very important, using the correct personal pronouns is a sign of dignity and respect for identity.

The official International Pronouns Day website offers three easy steps you can take when it comes to pronoun compliance: 

  1. Ask. It’s always better to ask than assume. This question shouldn’t be an accusation, nor should it be a disruptive event. To start the conversation, you can introduce yourself by saying “My pronouns are she/her," then follow with the question "what are your pronouns?” to know how to move forward.  
  2. Respect. Use the pronouns that match that person’s identity. The Human Rights Campaign offers resources, advice, and perspective that may help those struggling to overcome their bias. 
  3. Practice. Mistakes happen! Acknowledge and apologize if you use the incorrect pronoun to address a team member and commit to getting it right in the future. 

Resources from the Enterprise 

From Enterprise Talent Development

  • eLearning: Pronouns in the Workplace – Find the eLearning in Self Service using code G10MMBDEIPRO1

Employee Resource Groups

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