Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
Why Gender Pronouns In Email Signatures Are Important
Published Dec 21st, 2020 & updated on Aug 4th, 2022
Who’s ready for a little grammar class? Anyone? No one? Don’t worry, we’ll start slow with an introduction to gender pronouns.
So, what is a pronoun? It’s basically a substitute for a noun. In this case, the nouns we are going to be substituting are people’s names.
Common pronouns, and the ones we are going to be talking about today, are personal pronouns. These personal pronouns can be phrased in the first, second or third person:
1st: I, me, we, us
3rd: she, her, he, him, they, them, it
So instead of referring to your dog as Mr. Macaroni, you might refer to him as “he” or “him.”
We won’t get into the semantics of the different kinds of pronouns (because only our writers here at DiveThru get really stoked about grammatical details), so all you have to know is that a pronoun is how you refer to yourself or another person without using their name.
Now, why should we be putting our pronouns in our email signatures? As a cisgender person (someone who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth), it might seem weird and kind of trivial.
But for transgender individuals (people who don’t identify with the sex they were assigned at birth) and non-binary individuals, having their pronouns listed is really important. That way, they aren’t misgendered and their identity is respected by the people in their workplace.
Ok, now that we have that background info out of the way, let’s talk about why it’s an awesome idea to include your gender pronouns in your email signature!
1. It Normalizes Gender Pronouns
Assuming someone’s pronouns is risky business! Adding your pronouns helps normalize using them so that way, no one has to guess. This can make trans and non-binary individuals in your office feel safer, more comfortable, and respected in the workplace.
It is a small action, but it can have a really big impact on how trans and non-binary people feel in a work environment. It can also make any clients that you communicate with feel safe and welcome while talking to you too. Honestly, it’s a win for everyone!
2. It Shows That You And Your Company Are Inclusive
Even if it seems like a small gesture to you, it shows that you and your company are inclusive. Because some places of work might not be as accepting as others (and can even be a dangerous environment for a person to be in), this gesture welcomes trans and non-binary people into your space.
Adding pronouns in your email signatures is a super easy way of communicating that everyone is safe and welcome within your company. Whether they’re applying to work there, or they are a customer of yours, it can make a HUGE difference to a trans or non-binary person when they see your pronouns listed.
3. It Prevents Misgendering Someone
Repeat after us: You can’t assume someone’s gender by looking at them. Perfect! You recited that beautifullyyy!
But legit, you can’t assume someone’s gender by looking at them. If someone is femme presenting, they still might use different pronouns than she/her. Being misgendered can be a really triggering experience for trans and non-binary people. So, having pronouns listed can prevent misgendering people and causing them unnecessary trauma and pain.
4. It’s Not Hard
It takes about a minute to update your email signature, and there aren’t really any reasons not to. So, do it! Do it now! Right now! While you’re thinking about it! Go!
You don’t have to just keep this addition of your pronouns to your email signatures, either. Add them to all your social media accounts! Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. Update them all!
5. It Opens Up The Conversation About Gender Pronouns
Have you ever wondered what the best way is to learn someone’s pronouns? Like you’re super aware that you can’t assume someone’s gender, so you’re wondering how you could possibly ask them without being direct and rude? Well, start by sharing your own pronouns! No one is obligated to share theirs with you back but this small gesture on your behalf will indicate that it’s a safe space to do so if they want to.
Including your pronouns in your email signatures as a cisgender person is super easy and it’s a really important step to take in order to help Queer people in our lives feel seen and feel safe. You might think or feel that adding your pronouns to your email and bio is a bit excessive, but it shows you care about other people and their pronouns.
The trans and non-binary folks in your life will thank you!