LGBTQIA+ 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.

Yet, LGBTQIA+ staff continue to face barriers at work, such as that concerning pay and progression.

CMI research also found that nearly a quarter of those who did not identify as heterosexual were not comfortable with being open about their sexual orientation in the workplace, and only 39% said they had visible LGBTQIA+ role models.

“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 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


If you are already registered as a CMI Friend, Subscriber or Member, just login to view this article.

Confirm your registration

Login below to confirm your details and access this article.


Please confirm that you want to switch off the "Sign in with email" remember me feature.

Register for Free Access

Not yet a Member, Subscriber or Friend? Register as a CMI Friend for free, and get access to this and many other exclusive resources, as well as weekly updates straight to your inbox.

You have successfully registered

As a CMI Friend, you now have access to whole range of CMI Friendship benefits.

Please login to the left to confirm your registration and access the article.