Think about how you feel when someone constantly calls you the incorrect name even though you have introduced yourself. You might feel invalidated or overlooked. It might make you want to withdraw.
Making an assumption about someone's gender identity or the pronouns they use can have a similar effect. Much like our names, pronouns articulate who we are and how we want the world to address us. Using the wrong pronoun for someone can be insulting and harmful. In fact, a 2018 Harris Poll revealed that 65% of people believe employers should step in when workers repeatedly misuse someone's pronouns, and 58% believe repeated misuse constitutes workplace harassment.
The Adecco Group believes in talent, not labels. We envision a world in which skills matter and where everyone has a chance to be part of the same world of work. That is why we recently compiled #2 Qzine: Pronoun and language strategies for inclusion in the workplace. This guide offers practical guidelines that can be effective in companies with an existing organizational culture and policies that support and protect transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) people.
Beyond the binary
Across the world, more people understand gender more expansively than just existing within a binary — particularly the idea that people only exist as boys and girls or men and women.