DAS and Gender Pronoun Inclusivity in the Workplace

DAS is a diverse and inclusive place to work.  Our EEO office continually highlights to our state agencies the protected classes of age, ancestry, color, learning disability, marital status, intellectual disability, national origin, physical disability, mental disability, race, religious creed, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, and status as a veteran.

Pride Month works to achieve equal justice and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning individuals. As of 2019, Governor Ned Lemont declared June as LGBTQ Pride Month in the State of Connecticut. This year, the Equal Employment Opportunity unit would like to celebrate Pride Month by providing information on how we can embrace gender pronouns in the workplace.

What is a gender pronoun?

Gender pronouns are a way we refer to someone’s gender identity that should be chosen and written by the person using them and never assigned by someone else. Examples of gender pronouns include he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs, and many more. These gender pronouns should not be assumed based on someone’s outward appearance.

Why should I be inclusive of gender pronouns at work?          

Gender identity is based on an individual’s internal sense of their gender. This means that neither gender identity nor gender pronouns should be assumed based on a person’s outward appearance. By removing this assumption, we normalize this fact and create a more supportive, respectful, and comfortable work environment for the entirely of our workforce.

How can I be inclusive of gender pronouns at work?

Inclusivity of gender pronouns can include seemingly small changes that have the potential to have large impacts. One method of inclusivity is to display your gender pronouns at work by adding them to the employee directory or your email signature. Another method is by sharing your pronouns when introducing yourself to coworkers. When sharing your pronouns with others, remember not to force them to do the same. Sharing gender pronouns should remain voluntary. Assuming that individuals feel comfortable sharing their pronouns could result in “outing” individuals who are not ready to share that part of themselves at work. This would be contradictory to this inclusive mission. When you learn a coworker’s pronouns, make sure to refer to them using those pronouns in the future.

If you use incorrect pronouns when referring to a coworker, apologize and do the necessary work to avoid such mistakes in the future. Gender identity and expression is a protected class in the State of Connecticut under Public Act 11-55. It is important to remember that respecting gender pronouns cannot be the only method used to create gender inclusivity.


 This is just one of many ways we can work together to create a more inclusive work environment.