A Guide to Gender Pronouns in the Workplace

As you continue to strengthen your company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, it’s crucial to help your team understand how to use someone’s preferred gender pronouns in the workplace. According to the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion, gender pronouns are “words that a person uses to describe themselves or would like others to describe them.”

For people who are cisgender, meaning their “sense of personal identity and gender is the same as their birth sex,” common pronouns may be she, her, hers, or he, him, his. People who identify as non-binary or otherwise prefer non-gender categories may use they, them, theirs, or another set of pronouns.

The use of appropriate gender pronouns can help people feel seen and respected. Here are some best practices you can bring to your organization.

Highlight Your Gender Pronouns in the Workplace

There are several ways your team members can show they’re mindful of gender pronouns. For instance, they could add their pronouns to their display name in video meetings, their professional networking profiles, and their signature line in emails.

“I’ve put my gender pronouns in my email signature, along with a little linked explanation to say, ‘If you want to learn more about why I decided to do this, click here,’ says Laura Todd, director of inclusion and wellbeing at Randstad. “It’s showing that I’m an ally, that I respect all the different gender types that there are.”

Make Your Hiring Process More Inclusive

There are many opportunities for your company to incorporate inclusive gender pronouns throughout your hiring process. For example, consider the gender options on your job applications. “In your HR system, if you ask for whether somebody is a Miss, Ms., Mrs., or Mr., consider Mx.,” Todd says. You may also want to include a space for candidates to share their preferred name if it’s different than their legal name. As part of your interview process, have your recruiters and hiring managers share their gender pronouns and ask all candidates if they have a preferred way they’d like to be addressed.

Learn Common Gender Pronouns

Here’s how to use popular gender pronouns in the workplace.

PronounsIn a sentence
she/her/hersShe wants you to use her pronouns.
he/him/hisHe wants you to use his pronouns.
ze/hirZe wants you to use hir pronouns.
they/them/theirsThey want you to use their pronouns.
co/cosCo wants you to use cos pronouns.
No pronoun/name (use the person’s name instead of a pronoun)___ (name) wants you to use ___ (name) pronouns.
xe/xem/xyrXe wants you to use xyr pronouns.
Hy/hymn/hysHy wants you to use hys pronouns.

Source: Randstad

Continue to Implement DEI Best Practices

Acknowledging gender pronouns in the workplace will help candidates and employees feel comfortable. Keep up the momentum with Monster’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Guide.