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Pronouns: Let's Get It Right

Want to tell others about this? Download posters and digital screen slides and use this image in your email signature .

If you'd like to learn more about pronouns and can't find what you need here, contact us and let us know.

 

What Are Pronouns?

Pronouns are the words we use in place of a noun. For example instead of ‘man’, we use he/him/his, for ‘woman’, she/her/hers. Gender neutral or gender inclusive pronouns (e.g. they/them/theirs) refer to pronouns that do not associate the individual with a gender of either male or female.

A trans person is someone who self-defines as a gender other than that which they were assigned at birth. People have a gender assigned at birth according to attributes such as chromosomes, hormones and external and internal anatomy. However, this assignment sometimes conflicts with people’s gender identity - their internal sense of their own gender and what feels right for them. This might be male, female, non-binary (outside of male or female), genderless, or some other gender identity.

Everyone has pronouns based on their gender identity. It isn’t always possible to know someone’s gender identity from their appearance alone, so we shouldn't make assumptions about a person’s pronouns from their appearance, voice, or characteristics.

 

Why Is It Important To Get Pronouns Right?

When someone is referred to with a pronoun (e.g. he/she/they) that doesn’t align with their gender identity, it can make them feel alienated. Getting pronouns right is a basic way to respect a person’s gender identity.

 

Ideas for Getting Pronouns Right

To help build your knowledge, below we've listed six ideas for getting pronouns right:

Try to get in the habit of using ‘they/them’ until you know someone’s pronouns, e.g. “There is someone here to see you, I’ll ask them to take a seat”.

(Download a poster for idea 1 and digital screen slide for idea 1 ).

When you introduce someone use their pronouns, so others will learn them, e.g. “This is Hannah, she works in HR. This is George, they work in History”.

(Download a poster for idea 2 and digital screen slide for idea 2 ).

Listen to how people speak about themselves and follow suit, e.g. if they say something like “people always say ‘she’s interesting’ when they meet me”.

(Download a poster for idea 3 and digital screen slide for idea 3 ).

If you’re not sure, ask people what their pronouns are, e.g. “Sorry, I didn’t catch your pronouns”.

(Download a poster for idea 4 and digital screen slide for idea 4 ).

Consider including pronouns in your email signature, e.g. under your name and job title add “Pronouns: He/Him”.

(Download a poster for idea 5 and digital screen slide for idea 5 ).

Consider wearing a badge displaying your pronouns, to help normalise sharing pronouns. Complete the online form to request a pronoun badge.

(Download a poster for idea 6 and digital screen slide for idea 6 ).

 

You may also be interested in:

Charters - including Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index (LGBTUA+ equality benchmarking exercise)

Training, Guidance, and Resources - including our Trans Awareness and Safe Overseas Travel guides

Staff Networks - including LGBTUA+ Networks

Taskforces and SIC - including LGBTUA+ Taskforce

Events - including LGBTUA+ History Month

Respect at Warwick