Equality and acceptance in the workplace allow individuals to turn up to work and thrive in their environment. One way to do this is by promoting gender-inclusive terms and pronouns and avoiding language which inadvertently makes people around you feel uncomfortable, disliked and even, in some instances, endangered.
Are you adopting and encouraging the use of pronouns? An individual's name, clothing, or other outward signals do not necessarily inform you how that person identifies. Discover the steps you can take to prevent misgendering in the workplace, including throughout the job searching process.
1. Update your pronouns on LinkedIn
According to LinkedIn, 70% of job seekers believe it is important that recruiters and hiring managers know their gender pronouns, and 72% of hiring managers agree. In May 2021, LinkedIn introduced a profile feature that allows members to add pronouns to their Headline.
Whether you are job searching or not, you must create an authentic profile and one way to do this is by expressing your preferred pronouns on LinkedIn.
2. Add pronouns to your CV
If you want to include your pronouns on your CV, simply add them in the header, under your name and before your contact information. If you'd prefer not to add more text to your CV, you could clarify pronouns in your cover letter signature.
For some, listing pronouns during early stages of their job search eases anxiety they may feel going into an interview or professional situation and allow them to focus on the task at hand.
3. Disclose your pronouns in job applications
Online job applications may ask you to select your gender. In this case, you can choose 'non-binary' or 'other' depending on your options.
Despite some people arguing that listing pronouns early on in your application may lead to discrimination (although this is illegal), others believe it will help them to rule out non-inclusive workplaces and allow them to find an employer with a good culture fit.
4. Include pronouns in your email signature
Adding gender pronouns to your email signature is a simple step everybody in the workplace can take to minimise misgendering and promote inclusivity. Pronouns are also helpful if you have a gender-neutral name, like Alex, and want to clarify.
Including pronouns in your signature may encourage others to do the same and even inspire company-wide change. For more guidance, the LGBT Resource Centre provides several examples of what this may look like.
5. Introduce yourself using pronouns in your interview
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself with pronouns in an interview setting, for example,“Hi, I’m Alex, and my preferred pronouns are [X]”. Mentioning your preferred pronouns, may prompt the interviewer to do the same. Alternatively, if you are interviewing, you can ask what pronouns they would like to go by to ensure you correctly address them throughout the interview.
However you identify, everybody has a part to play in promoting societal change and normalising these conversations. By understanding gender pronouns and taking some of the above actions, you can encourage inclusivity, minimise unnecessary anxieties, and generally make the workplace more welcoming.
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