Why We’ve Added Gender Pronouns To Our Email Signatures

  • 4 weeks ago
  • 7 Minutes to Read

Here at Enviral, we’re passionate about the planet, but we also truly care about the people who call it home. We’re dedicated to making the world more sustainable, and while this means taking action to combat the climate crisis, it also means tackling social sustainability head-on. 

Notes from our Founder…

“Pressure. It’s a funny thing, isn’t it? I’m straight, white and come from what I class as a super privileged background, I identify as the gender I have always identified as (male), I’m from one of the most comfortable countries in the world (The United Kingdom) AND I live in a city which is known for its close community, forward thinking-ness [is that a word] and creativity (big up Bristol). So surely I have no right to feel pressure… but annoyingly I kind of do writing this piece.  

We live in the height of the Instagram generation, where people are so quick to judge you – especially at my age. Honestly, I can’t even imagine the pressures that today’s teenagers face. Especially as most teens are more knowledgable about the science behind our changing climate than many ‘experts’. We live in a digital world where the unfollow, angry or sad emoji are instant, and that’s seeping into our physical world. We need to transition to a more inclusive society in order to break down the barriers preventing us from living in a sustainable society, and we need to do it quickly.

Giving people, who don’t identify as the gender they were born with, the opportunity or platform to identify as someone else, costs us nothing. 

It’s all-around gender inclusivity. Obviously, in larger organisations especially, it’s harder for colleagues to see from appearances or the way you dress that you decide to identify as another gender. So, we’re adding gender pronouns to our email footers to help start safe conversations and help to normalise gender inclusivity. 

This is the type of company we want to be, and this is only the start. We’re committed to continuous improvement. We value unrepresented communities, we listen to all viewpoints and we’re a forward-thinking business (hopefully this year a BCorp!). My thoughts and frustrations, which are matched by many in the media industry, is that we live in a bubble. We need more inclusivity. We need more people to stand up and challenge the business as usual, in order to win over hearts and minds.  We need to continue to use communications as a force for good for people and our planet.” – Joss.  

So here at Enviral, we know that creating a diverse and inclusive workspace can be complex, but it’s vital that everyone makes an effort to start. The CIPD defines an inclusive working environment as “one in which everyone feels that they belong without having to conform, that their contribution matters and they are able to perform to their full potential, no matter their background, identity or circumstances”. 

This can be anything from creating a culture where all employees feel listened to and valued to adapting your employment processes to become more inclusive. 

We’re taking steps to tackle our own inclusivity, starting with our email signatures. 

Why?

To help normalise discussions around gender. 

For many people around the world, gender identity is a hugely complex issue – perhaps they don’t neatly identify with the categories of ‘male’ or ‘female’, perhaps they don’t identify with any gender or maybe their gender has changed. 

By adding gender pronouns to our email signatures we’re hoping to start meaningful conversations around gender,  whilst showing people that we recognise and respect everyone’s identity, no matter how they identify.

So while you may be thinking that all of this is just a new level of ‘woke’, by starting these conversations we can help to create real cultural shifts within businesses. This is a powerful way to show people that you understand gender isn’t binary. 

Misgendering means getting someones gender wrong, and while for many people this is just a slip of the tongue, for those it affects it can be devastating. 

We know this is only a small step towards workplace inclusivity, but if businesses joined this movement to normalise gender, we could start seeing some real meaningful shifts.

In short, understanding gender identity can seem complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. If you don’t know how to address someone or what pronouns to use, just ask. 

We encourage other businesses to take steps towards creating an inclusive workspace, and while we realise we’re only a young company, we’re proud to be taking these positive steps, and sending out a clear message that everyone is welcome and everyone is valued, no matter your background. 

Check us out on InstagramFacebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to follow our journey!

 

Written by
Enviral