BABCP | British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies > About > Equity, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion > Why personal pronouns matter

Why personal pronouns matter 

At BABCP, we are committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment where people can thrive and reach their fullest potential. We also want all our staff, members stakeholders, and those who interact with us, to feel empowered in expressing their identity. 

Using personal pronouns can indicate and foster a respectful and inclusive workspace. We believe that using pronouns demonstrates the importance of inclusive language and the affirmation of everyone's right to express their true selves in the workspace, utilising (and expecting others to use) the pronouns with which they identify.

The role of personal pronouns in the workplace 

Using the correct personal pronouns for someone is a basic way to show respect for their gender identity. It fosters a culture where everyone feels seen, understood, and valued. The deliberate misuse of someone's pronouns, on the other hand, can create a hostile environment, which is something we strive to avoid at the BABCP. 

Creating an inclusive environment 

We encourage all members of the BABCP to share their pronouns in their email signatures, on name tags at events, and in introductions. This not only helps normalise the practice but also alleviates the fear of misgendering someone. It's a simple step, but a powerful one in creating an inclusive environment. 

What are pronouns (or 'gender pronouns')? 

Pronouns are a common part of our language used to refer to ourselves or others, often as an alternative to using someone’s name. Examples of pronouns that might be used in reference to others or oneself include: 

  • He/him/his (for someone who might identify as male) 
  • She/her/hers (for someone who might identify as female) 
  • They/them/their (for someone who might not identify as male or female; these are 'gender neutral' pronouns, which are also used when referring to multiple people). 

Why would someone share their preferred pronouns? 

Often, we instinctively assume which pronouns to use for someone based on their name or their appearance. However, it's essential to keep in mind that: 

  • not everyone will identify as male or female, 
  • not everyone’s appearance or name will align with 'traditional' notions of male or female, 
  • not everyone’s gender identity will align with how they present themselves to others. 

Hence, when someone shares their preferred pronouns with us, it signifies their wish to be identified in a particular way. 

Resources and training 

We understand that for many, this may be a new concept and there may be uncertainties or mistakes. That's okay. What's important is a willingness to learn. We are looking to offer resources and training for all staff members to understand the importance of personal pronouns and to ensure they feel confident using them.

Continuing the conversation 

Our commitment to inclusivity goes beyond this introduction to pronouns. We welcome questions, conversations, and ideas on how we can continue to make our workplace more welcoming for all identities. This is not a one-time initiative, but a continuous journey towards greater understanding and respect.

Remember, everyone has a role to play in making BABCP a welcoming and inclusive space. It begins with small steps, like acknowledging and respecting each other's pronouns. Together, we can create a workplace where everyone feels valued and seen. 

International Pronouns Day 2023

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