Marks & Spencer are giving staff the choice to put pronouns on their badges

·2-min read
 (David Parke)
(David Parke)

Marks & Spencer are giving staff the choice of putting their preferred pronouns on name badges.

The company badges now feature the logo alongside the person’s first name and a selection of pronouns such as “He/Him/His”, “She/Her/Hers” and “They/Them/Their”.

Pronouns are the words used to refer to people when not being directly spoken to but often they have gendered implications when we use them, said the LGBT Foundation.

The badges were introduced a few months ago with employees now wearing them in-store.

One staff member David Parke - who works as a food public relations manager at the retail shore - shared a photograph of his updated badge last month to mark International Pronouns Day.

He said at the time: “I’m so grateful that Marks & Spencer actively encourages us to share our pronouns at work, whether on our name badges or in our email signatures.”

Mr Parke said the badges had begun to “start some very necessary conversations around gender identity and non-binary experiences,” reported The Times.

People praised the move on social media, one writing: “It’s a great initiative to understand the importance of gender identity.”

Anothers said: “That’s great to see such an initiative.”

Sasha Misra, associate director of communications and campaigns at LGBT rights charity Stonewall, said pronoun badges were a “simple yet impactful way to make sure LGBTQ+ identities are respected, for employees and customers alike”.

It follows on after supermarket giant Tesco gave its colleagues the opportunity to put their pronouns on badges last year.

“During 2020 one colleague suggested to the LGBTQ+ Network that pronouns were made part of the Tesco uniform [too],” the company states on its website.

“Taking this idea forward and working with our colleague experience team allowed the network to change our Tesco name badges to include a variety of pronouns available to all colleagues.

“For people from the LGBTQ+ community the use of the correct pronoun can make them feel welcomed by all. By listening to our colleagues and utilising their ideas the colleague networks have helped to ensure the correct change has been implemented.”

Marks & Spencer have been contacted for a comment.

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