Article:

LGBTQ+ and pronouns: What managers need to know

Written by Beth Gault Tuesday 07 June 2022
Using pronouns can signify allyship to the gender diverse community. Here’s how to make more space for pronouns in your organisation
A group of people with different pronouns written on their chests

The gender diverse community is a significant part of the population. Estimates have suggested that around 1% of the population is trans or non-binary, which equates to around 600,000 trans and non-binary people in the UK. 

Yet more than a third (35%) of LGBTQ+ staff have hidden that they are LGBTQ+ at work for fear of discrimination, according to Stonewall.

“If you have no visible trans or non-binary people in your organisation, and you are a large organisation, then you’re not doing enough,” says Rachel Reese, founder of corporate trans and non-binary inclusion company Global Butterflies.

Gender

Gender is not the same as sex. Sex is assigned at birth, while gender is the masculine, feminine or other ways people can decide to express themselves (their ‘gender expression’). How someone experiences their gender is termed their ‘gender identity’. Someone’s gender expression doesn’t automatically match their gender.

A term used for people whose gender doesn’t align with the biological sex they were assigned at birth.

A term used for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with either ‘male’ or ‘female’. Each non-binary person’s identity can be different, as they decide which parts of the binary identity they reject or accept.

Only got two minutes? Go straight to actions for managers

In the past number of years there has been a shift – especially within Generation Z – and people are now demanding more inclusivity within the workplace. “What we’re seeing now is that Generation Z are expecting to give their pronouns during the talent attraction process, and if they can’t, they’ll probably walk away,” says Rachel.

Keep reading to learn how to make more space for pronouns in your team

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