Understanding Gender Pronouns in the Workplace

Illustration of a person icon with pronouns written in the background

In order to create a gender inclusive environment in the workplace, business owners must learn to understand gender pronouns. Younger generations entering the workforce are creating new expectations from their employers. Gender inclusion is something that has become a top priority over the last few years. Gender pronouns can be complicated for some people to understand and use correctly; however, there are ways to assure that employers are being inclusive with their language and making everyone feel important and equal in their respective workplaces.

In an article by Culture Amp titled, “Why Sharing Gender Pronouns in the Workplace Matters”, Lexi Croswell says that a good way to create a gender inclusive environment is to start conversations with your employees about them (Croswell, 2021). For example, in an introductory meeting, the employees could state their name, role, and gender pronoun if they are comfortable with doing so (Croswell, 2021). This may give people a comfortable way to inform their colleagues and superiors of their pronoun preference when being spoken to or about. If unsure about how to refer to someone in conversation, it is best to be straightforward and ask them what pronoun they prefer (Croswell, 2021).

In order to create trust and respect in work relationships, it is essential that people try their best to be aware of these pronouns in conversations. If someone accidentally uses the wrong pronoun, and they realize it in the moment, they should apologize and correct themself then and there (Croswell, 2021). If someone realizes later that they used the wrong pronoun, it would be best to find that person and privately apologize to them (Croswell, 2021).

Using pronouns in email signatures is another convenient and comfortable way to introduce gender pronouns in work conversations (Croswell, 2021). This can be an effective way to create awareness in peers and show respect to those who may be uncomfortable in informing or correcting their colleagues about their preferred pronoun. Employers should prioritize these ways of communicating in order to create inclusive environments where everyone can do their best work and feel comfortable doing so.


Croswell, L. (2021, September 27). Why sharing gender pronouns in the workplace matters. Culture Amp. Retrieved October 7, 2021, from https://www.cultureamp.com/blog/gender-pronouns-in-workplace.