Biglaw Firm Encourages Associates To Use Preferred Gender Pronouns In Email Signatures

As Biglaw firms across the globe continue their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion among their ranks, some prominent firms are taking it a step further by recognizing that pronouns matter for their transgender, genderqueer, and nonbinary employees.

To that end, tipsters say that Sidley Austin recently offered its firmwide approval and support for associates to add their preferred gender pronouns to their email signature blocks. In fact, the firm recently highlighted this practice in one of its Tech Tip Tuesday emails. Check it out, below:

A source at the firm shared this powerful note with us about the importance of diversity and inclusion at Biglaw firms, even through actions as “small” as supporting the use of preferred gender pronouns in email signatures:

Although I’m not transgender or gender-fluid, I am still incredibly proud of Sidley for being one of the few Biglaw firms that I know of to do this, and I would encourage more firms to take the leap. I know a lot of people don’t necessarily understand why this is important, or think that because they don’t “need” to provide their pronouns they shouldn’t bother adding the pronouns themselves. However, it can be incredibly isolating being the “only” person who needs/wants to self-identify pronouns, so there is power and support in having others do it first/with you. It’s such a small and easy thing that we can all do to be more inclusive and welcoming, and it can make a huge impact on people feeling marginalized or unseen.

This is a remarkably simple move, but one that goes pretty far in normalizing the practice and setting the tone of inclusion. Does your firm support the usage of preferred gender pronouns in email signatures? Please let us know.

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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