Marks & Spencer has introduced optional pronoun name badges for its employees.
In a recent LinkedIn post, the retailer said staff are being encouraged to wear a badge with “whichever combination of pronouns is right for them”.
The idea came from one of its employees via M&S’s “Suggest to Steve” programme, where employees can put forward ways of improving the business to its CEO, Steve Rowe.
Staff in office-based roles are also encouraged to put their pronouns in their email signatures.
Employees have praised the move, with the company sharing a LinkedIn post from food PR manager David Parke, who said that the badges help everyone feel comfortable and showed that the firm was actively supporting LGBTQ+ colleagues.
Using correct pronouns
“Giving people the option to display their pronouns at work is really important as it encourages them to show allyship towards trans and non-binary colleagues,” he said.
“Many of us already include our pronouns in our email signatures, but when you’re talking to people in person it’s useful to know how they want to be referred to in order to help everyone feel comfortable and avoid any misgendering.”
Sasha Misra, associate director of communications and campaigns at Stonewall, said: “It’s great to see an increasing number of businesses offering the option of badges with pronouns for staff.
“Creating an inclusive workplace starts with everyday actions, and having pronouns on badges is a simple yet impactful way to make sure LGBTQ+ identities are respected – for employees and customers alike.”