Virtual experience

Indicating Gender Pronouns

Indicating Gender Pronouns

Adding your pronouns to your virtual Congress profile is encouraged if you feel comfortable doing so. Here’s why it’s important. 

We use pronouns when we refer to one another in speech and in writing, in place of using names. We often use pronouns without thinking about it, but many pronouns have a gender implied. Sometimes, our assumptions and implications about someone’s gender are not accurate. 

The pronouns we use for ourselves are an important reflection of who we are. Using someone’s correct pronouns is a fundamental way of showing respect for them and their identity. You can’t always tell what pronouns a person uses only by looking at them, or based on their name. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns – or being misgendered – can make someone feel disrespected or invalidated, and if it happens repeatedly, can be harmful. 

For many people with diverse gender identities or gender expressions, it can be challenging to be publicly out, and they may face persistent misgendering. They may be uncomfortable to share their true pronouns because of the environment they are in, or they may fear negative repercussions. 

If more people include their pronouns (in introductions as well as in other contexts, like name badges at conferences), it normalizes the sharing of pronouns. It reminds us not to make assumptions about people’s identities, and might make it easier for people with diverse gender identities and gender expressions to identify their pronouns, when they feel comfortable to do so. 

Pronoun inclusion is a simple way of signalling support for people with diverse gender identities and gender expressions, and it’s one way to contribute to a more inclusive and safe meeting environment. 

For more information on gender pronouns, here are some resources: 

How to

Adding your pronouns after your name on the virtual event platform is encouraged if you feel comfortable doing so. Add the pronouns, in brackets, after your name, in two places: 

  1. Platform profile: To update your profile on the platform, locate and click the person icon in the upper right corner of your screen and select “My Profile” from the drop-down list. From here, you can place your pronouns following your last name. 
  2. Zoom: After joining a Zoom meeting, add your pronouns to your name by clicking the three dots in your video frame and select “rename”.