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Why do we encourage staff to share their pronouns?

We as an organisation understand that many people assume that the pronouns they should use for someone can be assessed solely on appearance: people who 'look like men' should be referred to using "he/him", and people who 'look like women' should be referred to as "she/her".

The problem with this approach is that sometimes these assumptions can be frustrating and harmful to those experiencing them. Members of the LGBTQ+ community might challenge people's perceptions of what a man or woman looks like based solely on appearance, they may not identify with the pronouns people commonly assume for them or might prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns (such as they/them).

We as an organisation respect this and want to support our staff, patients and members of the public in being able to express their gender identity when working in or accessing our services. We encourage our staff to share their pronouns if they wish to help start this conversation with others by showing an understanding of their own.

If we choose to make assumptions about which pronouns are correct, we risk mis-gendering people and/or singling out transgender or non-binary people when they share theirs. This is why we encourage all of our employees to share their pronouns in their email and when introducing themselves.

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