BBC asks staff to support trans people by using preferred gender pronouns

Ewan Somerville
It is making the cuts in a bit to save £80 million: PA Wire/PA Images

BBC staff have been urged to state their pronouns in email signatures in a drive to be more inclusive to transgender employees.

The corporation asked staff to declare their preferred pronouns, such as “she/her”, “he/him” or “they/them” - the preferred address for many trans people.

Guidance posted on the BBC intranet calls it a “small, proactive step that we can all take to help create a more inclusive workplace”, the Times reports.

“It lets colleagues know your pronouns and shows that you respect other people’s too. It’s really simple,” the document states.

The BBC said the move would foster a culture of inclusivity (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Bosses at the broadcaster said adding pronouns to emails would “help to create a culture where everyone feels comfortable introducing themselves with pronouns”.

More than 400 BBC employees, 2 per cent of the 22,000 total, identify as transgender, according to internal surveys.

Pronouns on email signatures have grown in popularity in recent years, with many employees voluntarily adding them.

Stonewall, the LGBT charity, recommends the gesture for those wishing to be an “ally to non-binary people”.

Some workplaces have also phased out gendered language for gender-neutral terms, such as ditching “Mr and Ms” titles for “Mx” or dropping phrases like “ladies and gentlemen”.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “The BBC isn’t requiring anyone to do anything; there is simply a staff article on our intranet that talks about gender identity at work and the use of pronouns.

"This topic is a live issue in many workplaces.”

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