Insight Paper

What You Need to Know About Pronouns: Improving LGBTQ+ Inclusion by Normalizing Pronoun Usage

December 2023

An effective way to promote lesbian, gay, transgender, and queer+ (LGBTQ+) workplace inclusion is by normalizing the use of gender pronouns in a company’s culture, internal and external communications, and in day-to-day interactions with all stakeholders. The use of inclusive, gender-neutral pronouns is becoming more commonplace in the workplace and community settings, and a debated topic in the K12 and post-secondary school systems (see Seramount’s Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Trends in the US: What Your Workforce Needs to Know for more information).

Some workplaces may be skeptical about generating visual LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts because of potential employee backlash. However, leaning into discomfort can be a necessity in order to create a workplace environment that embeds diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in its foundation. It is important that all historically excluded groups (HEG) feel included and supported by coworkers and managers, and promoting pronoun usage can be a great way to do that for the LGBTQ+ community. For companies that may be struggling with an unsupportive employee base, Seramount’s toolkit Supporting Hard-to-Reach Employees: Language Considerations, Communications, and Supporting DEI Skeptics Through DEI Change is a place to start. Other resources are Seramount’s DEI Glossary, which includes a list of terms that professionals may encounter, and Seramount’s Inclusion Through Language: A Fluid Guide to Inclusive Language in the Workplace.

This guide will demonstrate how companies can create LGBTQ+ inclusive workspaces through best practices and case studies

What You Need to Know About Pronouns Improving LGBTQ+ Inclusion by Normalizing Pronoun Usage

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