“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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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