How pronouns can pave the way to equity and inclusion From local coffee shops to global corporations to families, the communication of our pronouns is emerging as another crucial expression of identity. Enact is choosing to communicate our pronouns too, and we wanted to share why. Forcing individuals to conform to pronouns that do not accurately reflect their true identity is another form of marginalization and exclusion. The main principle is that gender is a social construct, separate from biology. As such, each person may define what (if any) gender they identify with. While this can seem complicated, it is both compassionate and good for relationships & results to honor and respect each person’s gender expression in the workplace and beyond. We want to help lead the change in inclusive behaviors—both as individuals and allies–by supporting the personal choice to use They/Their, She/Her, He/His, or other pronouns/identities. We will be communicating our pronouns and invite others to inform us of theirs. As leaders in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work, we’ve seen how new behaviors, words, and habits can be uncomfortable at first. It’s like the old story of walking through tall itchy grass in shorts. The more often we travel these new paths, the easier and more comfortable we feel. Furthermore, we pave a path for others to follow with less “itchiness.” In the spirit of allying and embracing each other’s full humanity, we are ready to lean into discomfort together. Ask yourself…when someone requests a different pronoun than you expect, do you:
A. Try to argue or force the person into conforming to existing norms B. Encourage dialogue and educate yourself, even if uncomfortable, as you fulfill their request C. Join in the eye-rolling, “some people are so sensitive” D. Do nothingAt Enact, we answered B and welcome you to join us. You can CLICK HERE to learn more about our consulting solutions for creating equitable and inclusive work cultures.