Pronouns: The Vehicle Driving Us Toward (In)Visibility
In honor of International Pronouns Day, let’s dig into the power and purpose of pronouns in an ever-diversifying and evolving world.
As the individuals who are behind the marketing campaigns, product development, and customer experiences that shape and shift culture, it is very important that we have an unbiased and inclusive lens both personally and professionally as this goes beyond just being client work. We have the power to make people feel included or ‘othered.’ To ‘other’ people means we either make them feel like an outsider who is constantly overlooked, underrepresented, ignored and/or completely forgotten because we are not aware of their existence. This affects the livelihood of everyone – all the people who use, frequent and depend on the brands, products and experiences that we are shaping. We are in the role to ensure that we are doing our very best to be as inclusive as possible to understand nuanced consumer needs and pain points in order to come up with solutions that add value and help them in their daily lives.
Google, for example, is doing it right. They are conscientious about inclusion efforts to include trans, non-binary and gender nonconforming communities and has created guidelines that will help make their products and marketing more relevant and representative to these communities.
In order to get to a place of inclusion, we need to realize that the recognition of pronouns genuinely helps to foster inclusivity, equity and authenticity. Pronouns are a vehicle to allow for the opportunity to level-set gender identity without any perceived assumptions or categorization within a gender binary (i.e. he/him or she/her). Being more conscientious and knowledgeable about pronouns helps to remind us that gender expansive individuals and communities (like non-binary, gender non-conforming, agender, genderqueer, trans and so on) exist so we should not assume or categorize people within the gender binary of male and female.
So, when we normalize the use of pronouns as a part of our culture of recognizing individuals and communities for who they are and not who we think they are, we are turning invisibility to (in)visibility.
SENIOR INCLUSIVE MARKETING STRATEGIST