There’s more to ‘he’ and ‘she’ – Specsavers introduce pronouns

At Specsavers everybody is somebody. We believe in treating everyone fairly and with respect. For us, nurturing a diverse and inclusive culture is based on more than just business benefit.  

What are pronouns? 

Whether we realise it or not, people frequently refer to us using pronouns when speaking about us. The word ‘he / him’ is usually used to refer to males and ‘she / her’ to refer to females. But some people identify as neither, nor both – which is why we at Specsavers have given the option of including pronouns in our email signature templates and are working to add these to our office ID and store colleague name badges. We want everyone to feel included and this is one of the many steps to help us achieve just that. It’s a simple and effective way to show our colleagues we care and respect each other.  

Why should we use pronouns? 

Many people identify as the gender they were assigned at birth as, and so it may not be obvious to some why we would need to talk about our pronouns. However, learning how to refer to people in whatever way they see themselves helps them to feel accepted and understood. 

  • Help to form an inclusive work environment by opening the conversation and creating the opportunity for understanding. 
  • Pronouns are one of the main ways people identify themselves and others – so using them helps you to show respect towards a colleague’s gender. 
  • By displaying your own pronouns, it helps others to know how to refer to you and helps to normalise the conversation. 
  • It supports trans and non-binary colleagues by reducing some of the burden on them to explain their identity. 
  • Some people may have non-gender specific names such as: Sam or Alex. Using pronouns can help make sure they are addressed correctly. 

‘Displaying your pronouns is a really easy way to show that you stand with our trans and non-binary colleagues. In as little as 8 characters you can create a space that shows you understand the challenges they face and can help normalise the conversation about why it’s important to display them – even if you identify as cis-gender. I’m proud to say I work for Specsavers who are a company that stand by their beliefs and are proactively creating an environment where everyone can bring their whole selves to work every day.’
Craig Paveley – Co Chair of Prism LGBTQIA+ colleague network 

We believe diversity and inclusion are key to achieving our long-term goals, ensuring that everyone can bring their whole selves to work, no matter where they work at Specsavers.  

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