WeCount 2019 queried if respondents were gendered correctly at work, as in, did their colleagues use their correct name and pronouns. Nearly a quarter of the responses to this question said that nobody at their work got this right. Just over half said that all or most of their colleagues did get it right. Some people relayed experiences where work colleagues often made assumptions based on appearances and their hetero-normative beliefs. These assumptions can be difficult to correct. Having the correct pronoun and name used can indicate safety and belonging. Deliberate misgendering, incorrect name use and micro-aggressions veiled as humour create a very real sense of not having one’s whole self being included and/or that that self is of lesser value than another person.
Assumptions can create a sense of being invisible. Challenging assumptions requires ongoing mental energy, the burden of which must be shared by all people. WeCount 2019 told us that colleagues, managers and others getting pronouns and names right matters in the workplace.
“Inclusive, caring and supportive work colleagues enable me to be open about my identity”