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Zoom adds pronoun feature to drive inclusive meetings

It is time to normalize the use of pronouns.

Allie Nawrat

Technologist

Zoom pronouns
Credit: Dima Berlin via Twenty20.

A great move towards greater inclusivity in the workplace. Unleash Your Curiosity

  • Zoom has joined the likes of Instagram and LinkedIn by introducing a feature that allows individuals to share their pronouns in meetings and conferences.
  • By doing so, Zoom is helping to make workplaces and the world of work more inclusive to the trans and gender non-conforming communities.

By collectively sharing our pronouns, we’re helping to create inclusive spaces for trans people and the wider gender non-conforming community. Pronoun sharing signifies allyship to the LGBTQ+ community and normalizes not assuming people’s gender identity.

While many people have been manually adding their pronouns to their social media and email signatures for years, companies are starting to realize that this is something they should offer as a special feature if we want to contribute to building a more modern, inclusive society.

Instagram and LinkedIn allow users to attach their pronouns to their profile, and Twitter is creating an ‘About’ section where individuals can share their pronouns and other personal information.

Now video conferencing platform Zoom is following suit. After users shared they had been manually adding their pronouns to their names when using Zoom, the company decided – after discussion with diversity leaders and social organizations – to formalize this and launch a new feature during Pride Month.

This is particularly important as some individuals had been unable to edit their display names manually due to organizational policies and SSO integrations.

[Read more: The challenges of being LGBTQ+ in today’s workplace]

The aim for Zoom was to help “our users feel more included, able to express themselves, and be seen,” according to a blog post by the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion lead Ronnie Dickerson Stewart.

Dickerson Stewart adds: “Pronouns are an essential piece to many of our diverse users expressing themselves and respectfully referring to others.

“While pronoun sharing can be particularly important to LGBTQ community members, we also recognize that it enables our users to better share about themselves and be more respectfully treated on our platform.”

“In introducing the Pronouns feature, we hope this will help everyone feel better able to express themselves and respectfully address others, which ultimately leads to a stronger culture of connectivity and an improved communications experience.”

The feature will be available as part of Zoom.5.7.0 and will be part of the ‘Profile’ page. This means users can decide when they want to share their pronouns when using Zoom for meetings or conferences.

[Read more: How HR can create inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ+ employees]

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