A few weeks ago, Peak Support COO Hannah Steiman sent an email to all our team members about adding pronouns to their profiles on Slack, LinkedIn, and company email. The full letter is below:
Hello Peak Support team!
Some of you may have seen that Jon, Bianca and I, along with several other members of the team, have put our pronouns on our LinkedIn pages, email signatures, and Slack. Many companies, including large companies like Virgin and TIAA, are taking similar steps. We wanted to take this time to explain why we do this and why it’s important.
Why are we doing this?
You may not be able to tell someone’s gender or their pronouns based on their name or how they look. By sharing pronouns, we can all ensure that we address our team members properly, without misgendering them (getting their gender wrong). And we enable them to extend the same respect to us. It makes it easier for us all to communicate with respect and recognize each other’s dignity and humanity. In addition, adding pronouns sends a message to potential hires and potential clients that we are committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within our organization.
Transgender and non-binary people often choose to use pronouns other than the ones they were assigned at birth. In addition, more and more people are using gender neutral pronouns such as they/them. Merriam-Webster recently added “they” as a singular pronoun, meaning it is now officially recognized as a pronoun that can be used for one person, rather than a group of people. Sharing pronouns is also important for cisgender people - those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth - because it creates an environment where sharing pronouns is normal.
Is it required?
Adding pronouns to your name is not required. Though some U.S. companies are requiring it, we spoke with many members of our Philippines team who felt it wouldn’t be appropriate. In particular, we wanted to make sure that team members who are transgender or non-binary don’t feel undue pressure to choose a pronoun. However, we do want to encourage everyone at Peak Support who feels comfortable sharing to please do so.
How can I do it?
For LinkedIn, you can put your pronoun in your last name field, and for Slack, you can just put it in the name field. The typical format is "she/her," "he/him," "they/them," etc.
How can I learn more?
This video is a great resource on pronouns and why they’re important. In addition, we will be offering a training on issues related to gender and pronouns, led by Kristin Diaz-Rodriguez, one of our clients, who also has a background in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training. Stay tuned for a calendar invite; this will likely take place in early January, and we will make a recording available for those who can’t attend in person.
Thank you, and please reach out if you have any questions.