My firm asked all employees to add our pronouns to our email signatures to promote inclusivity. So, I did: “He/him/his.” I am in sales and send out hundreds of outreach emails every week. Today, a potential customer replied: “Not interested.” He said he was “turned off by the unnecessary pronoun thing.” I support inclusivity. But this interaction made me wonder about the risks and rewards of my company’s policy. My email signature isn’t suddenly going to make anyone more welcoming to nonbinary people. But some may be turned off by it. And I don’t think leaving off my pronouns would offend anyone. Am I wrong?  ANONYMOUS 

Even before I could read Philip’s answer, my mind was made up. No. Pronouns should not be included in an email signature. I think of trans or nonbinary people who aren’t ready to come out, and feel this policy is problematic because it pressures people to either out themselves before they’re comfortable or lie. I agree it may also make it easier for some trans and nonbinary people to come out, but coming out is a process, and just because you come out you may not be in the space to have the talk and answer the (insensitive) questions. I understand  Philips  point “Including pronouns is a useful reminder to avoid making assumptions and to address people correctly.”  When I correspond with individuals by email who have not met me, my pronouns are often mixed up. This is likely due to my name, and my profession, as many do not consider a woman to be as likely to run a business or be direct in their correspondence. This, to me, allows us to have a bigger conversation than gender. What are your thoughts on this issue?

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7 Responses to Pronouns

  1. adguru101 says:

    Gender shouldn’t matter, therefore it shouldn’t be identified. If a follow-up requires clarification, it’s simple enough to write, “by the way, I am (Mr/Ms/They/etc.) First Name/Last Name”.

    It’s so easy to inadvertently do the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing, but I see no need for personal information to be included in corporate communication. Alisa

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree – gender shouldn’t matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder about that. So, the pronoun you use is what you are born as or what you identify as? Don’t worry. 🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️

    Liked by 2 people

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