Our inclusive signatures

Our inclusive signatures

Studio

This International Pronouns Day, Bennetts Associates has initiated our new signatures to consciously build a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels like they belong.

19.10.2022


 

At Bennetts Associates we know to be at our best it is essential we recognise and celebrate diversity in all its forms. We are open and committed to continual learning and self-challenge as we collectively work towards this goal. This can mean a number of things from the way we work together to the process and systems we use.

We know that for many people their electronic signatures, especially their names and pronouns, tell others about important aspects of their identities. They tell part of the story of their culture and background. Getting a person’s name and pronouns right is one small but important way that we can help to consciously build a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels like they belong.

We know that when people hear their name being mispronounced this can make them feel like an outsider. We are also aware that we can verbalise wrong assumptions about another person’s gender. In the arena of inclusion these are referred to as microaggression – ie a subtle action – verbal or non-verbal, conscious or unconscious – that has a harmful effect on marginalised groups.

For those who are not used to providing their pronouns it may initially feel awkward to proactively do so. However, by doing so, you are normalising pronoun sharing and helping to cultivate a more welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone, particularly for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming colleagues.

 

FAQ’s

How else can I make sure I have pronounced someone’s name correctly?

You could try:

- Asking everyone in meetings to introduce themselves – then listening carefully to pronunciations– even making phonetic notes to help you remember.

- Check with colleagues if you are pronouncing their name correctly.

- Take a few seconds to read any pronunciation notes in email signatures.

- Be an ally by helping to clarify for others if they are mispronouncing a name.

- Apologise if you realise you’ve made a mistake.

 

How else can I share my pronouns?

You could try:

- Mentioning your pronouns when you introduce yourself to someone eg“Hello, I’m Tom, my pronouns are she/her and I’m the project architect”.

- Write your pronouns on your name tag when attending an event eg “Evelyn (they/them/their)”.

- Wear a pronoun badge – this could be attached to your lapel or to a lanyard.

- Add your pronouns beside your name in your LinkedIn profile.

- Apologise if you realised you’ve made a mistake.

 

Doesn’t 'they' mean always mean plural?

Not always. It can be used as a plural but it applies to the singular as well and you have probably been using it that way all of your life without realising. Mermaids UK explains that “We use they/them pronouns in every day conversations, and many people don’t even realise. If you’ve just come across a wallet on the floor, most people would say ‘someone dropped their wallet’. Non-binary people use all kinds of pronouns. Many use they/them, she/her, he/him or a combination".

In fact, using they/them as a singular is nothing new at all. You will find it used in texts such as The Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's Hamlet and even the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights.

Where can I learn more about gender and sex based terminology?

Stonewall have a useful guide on their website.

 
Our inclusive signatures