Gender pronouns: why using gender-inclusive language at work matters at PRMA Consulting

Written by Rozz Chowdhury

In this update, Rozz Chowdhury (she/her), Client Excellence, Learning & Support Lead, explains why she is sharing her gender pronouns with her colleagues and clients.

As part of its strategy to maintain and develop its inclusive workplaces, PRMA Consulting and Fishawack Health have launched an educational series for colleagues that enables conversations about using gender pronouns and gender inclusive language at work.

The power of an inclusive workplace  

Gartner1 found that gender-diverse and inclusive teams outperformed less inclusive teams by 50% on average. The opportunities for improved employee motivation, innovative thinking, and increased performance makes an inclusive workplace a necessity.

PRMA Consulting understands the value its inclusive culture brings to its employees and clients, and is now helping colleagues to optionally use pronouns at work, both internally and in their collaboration with clients. 

It’s important to enable conversations at work about gender pronouns

Gender pronouns are words that a person would like others to use when talking to or about them. Commonly used pronouns are he, him, his, she, her, hers, and they, them, theirs.    

I identify as the gender I was assigned at birth; I’m a cisgender woman who uses the pronouns she/her/hers. Colleagues and clients who I work with identify me as she/her/hers – it’s an assumption they make based on my name and appearance.  

I feel advantaged that people make the correct assumption about my gender. Not everyone identifies as the gender they are born into, and it can be a painful, alienating, and invalidating experience to be misgendered – being referred to as a different gender to the one that you identify as. That’s why it’s important to enable workplace conversations about gender pronouns.  

The image above shows some examples of gender pronouns that we currently use at work. Some people use a mixture of these, such as they/them/hers, and some people don’t want to use pronouns at all and will ask you to refer to them by their name alone.  

Why I share my gender pronouns and use gender inclusive language in the workplace 

I share my pronouns in my email signature to help: 

  • others feel comfortable to do the same 
  • show that I won’t assume your pronouns 
  • normalize the conversation around personal gender pronouns 

It’s a small effort on my part to recognize and use pronouns but it has a positive impact for those I work with. At work, it’s important to give everyone the space to share their pronouns and use them; it helps create collaborations where individuals feel able to bring their full selves to the project and it’s a mutual respect and courtesy that we all deserve.  

If you’d like to share your experience of using gender pronouns at work, or find out more about diversity and inclusion at PRMA Consulting, please get in touch.  

Further reading 

  1. Diversity and Inclusion Build High-Performance Teams 
  2. A Guide to Using Pronouns and Other Gender-Inclusive Language in the Office 

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