It is important to us that we provide a safe and welcoming environment in our branches and back offices where employees and members can feel comfortable and accepted. We encourage our employees to fully and accurately express themselves by giving them the option of adding their pronouns to name tags and email signatures to help inform others on how to refer to them appropriately and respectfully.
FAQ for employees and members:
Why would someone choose to share their pronouns?
Often, we will use “they” or “she” or “he” to refer to someone without knowing what their pronouns are. Names and appearances are often used as a basis for this distinction, but they do not always help determine what pronouns someone actually uses. When someone includes their pronouns in their email signature, in conversation, or on their nametag, they are providing the information for you, so you do not have to guess. It’s their way of stating, “When you refer to me without using my name, these are the pronouns I use.”
What if I accidentally use the wrong pronoun?
Using the wrong pronoun can be pretty similar to using the wrong name for someone. If you make a mistake, it’s good to quickly apologize and move on, and work to use the right one next time.
What if someone uses more than one pronoun?
If you’re ever unsure which pronoun to use in a list that someone has shared with you, it is okay to ask for clarification. Another thing to keep in mind is that someone’s pronouns can change over time. For example, someone may have used “he” and “him” in the past, but now uses “they” or “them.” In addition, some people may not have an opinion about which pronouns are used for them.
What should I do if I hear someone else use what I think are the wrong pronouns for someone?
People often wonder if they should correct someone in this situation. This question should be asked of the person being referred to. If you are told someone’s pronouns, you might ask, “What would you like me to do if I hear someone use a different pronoun for you?”
Where do people usually announce pronouns?
Sharing pronouns can be seen often on nametags, in email signatures, on social media profiles, on business cards, while introducing yourself, and anywhere else that people post general information like names and job titles. It can be helpful to take the guesswork out of this, especially for people who don’t know you yet.