To help make everyone feel welcome at Sourcegraph, we ask everyone to use people’s personal pronouns. For most of our colleagues, these are listed on our team page next to each person’s name.
Some may choose to use singular “they” pronouns, e.g.:
- “X would probably love these extra adorable pictures I took of my cat today, I should send them some!”
- “X deleted all the databases and their backups!? How did they even do that?”
- “I should ask X to make me a playlist, their music is always so groovy!”
Other enby pronouns include: ze/hir, co/cos, xe/xem/xyr, hy/hym/hys, or no pronoun and using that person’s name instead.
Sharing your pronouns
Even if you’ve used the same pronouns your whole life, sharing your own pronouns is one of the best ways to help others feel comfortable sharing theirs with you. Here are some things that colleagues can do to share their pronouns:
- Include your pronouns on our team page if you haven’t added them already
- Include your pronouns next to your name in your email signature
- Fill out your personal pronouns on your Slack profile
- Add your pronouns and manage how you want them to be displayed on your Zoom profile
- Add your pronouns to your LinkedIn profile, your Twitter bio, your GitHub profile, or other social media platforms you use
- Introduce yourself by name and pronouns when meeting a new colleague
And remember that if someone asks you for your pronouns, they are doing so out of respect!
Someone I am interacting with has not shared their pronouns. How do I know which pronouns to use?
Pronouns differ for everyone, and incorrectly assuming someone’s pronouns and referring to them by the wrong pronouns, either to their face or in conversation with other colleagues, can be harmful. If you are at all unsure, it’s generally always safe to fall back on “they/them/their”! You can also listen for how others refer to the person, though this is not a guarantee that these are the pronouns they would prefer, and the best way to know is to ask them directly. If you are comfortable asking, you can privately message them “What pronouns do you use?” or “What pronouns should I use to refer to you?”.
Please note that we are not allowed to ask for pronouns during the interview process for legal reasons. We encourage hiring managers, interviewers, and others to use the default “they/them/their” during the interview process. You may also choose to offer your pronouns when introducing yourself to interviewees, which can give the interviewee an opportunity to share theirs.
What if you make a mistake?
- Quickly correcting yourself is more likely to make the misgendered person comfortable than doing something that requires spending more time on it.
- You can gently correct others when they make a mistake, e.g.:
- Person A: “in our last meeting, he said -”
- Person B: “they said”
- Person A: “thanks, they said their cat actually wrote most of the PR”
- If there is no opportunity to correct someone in real time without being disruptive, a private follow-up later is also helpful.
- Boston Children’s Hospital - Gender identity & pronoun use: A guide for pediatric health care professionals
- Conscious Style Guide - Gender, Sex + Sexuality
- Personal pronoun examples - Pronoun Island