More Biglaw Firms Encourage Associates And Staff To Use Gender Pronouns In Email Signatures


Biglaw firms across the globe continue to promote diversity and inclusion among their ranks by instituting transgender-friendly workplace policies. To that end, many firms have decided to embrace the full gender spectrum by encouraging any and all employees — not just their transgender, genderqueer, and nonbinary employees — to use gender pronouns in their email signatures.

Earlier this month, we wrote about Sidley Austin’s heartening step forward when it offered firmwide approval and support for employees to add gender pronouns to their signature blocks. As it turns out, many other firms have done the exact same thing. Here are just a few of them, plus interesting facts about each firm’s steps toward inclusivity if included by tipsters:

  • Cleary Gottlieb
  • Cozen O’Connor
  • Jenner & Block
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
  • Littler (gender-based pronouns have been eliminated from the firm’s HR materials and employees can choose a nonbinary identifier in the firm’s internal HR system)
  • Mayer Brown
  • Paul Weiss (chairman Brad Karp and deputy chair Valerie Radwaner both added pronouns to their signatures last year)
  • Ropes & Gray (the firm has dedicated thousands of hours of pro bono work to helping people update name and gender markers on identity documents)

If you’re still not sure why your firm should support and encourage gender pronouns in email signatures, here’s a powerful message on solidarity from a source at Sidley:

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, a “small” action indeed, but one that goes pretty far in setting the tone of inclusion at a law firm. Does your firm support the usage of gender pronouns in email signatures? Please let us know.

Earlier: Biglaw Firm Encourages Associates & Staff To Use Gender Pronouns In Email Signatures


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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