Tips to Create an Alliance Culture for Gender Identity

Creating a positive and safe work environment is more important than ever and it benefits employers and employees. The right actions assist changing workplace culture to reflect our changing society. Gender identity may cause some employees caution when interacting with other employees, despite years of working relationships.

Here are some tips to create an alliance culture for gender identity

  • Do not try to guess someone’s gender identity. You cannot tell simply by looking at a person.
  • Gender identity is different from sexual orientation, so do not make assumptions about someone’s sexual orientation by their gender identity.
  • Do not ask a transgender person what their “real name” is. For some transgender people, their birth name can create incredible anxiety. Simply respect the name they use.
  • Listen to a person’s pronoun. If you are uncertain which pronoun a person uses, listen to the pronoun that other people use when referring to them. If you’re still unsure and need to ask, start with your own: “Hi, I’m Raquel and I use the pronouns she and her. What are yours?” (pronouns include: she/her/hers; he/him/his; ze/hir; they/them/theirs; co/cos; no pronoun/name (use the person’s name instead of a pronoun); xe/xem/xyr; hy/hym/hys)
  • At meetings and shared workspaces, set an inclusive tone—listen to people’s pronouns.
  • Apologize for misgendering someone. Just like you would apologize for mispronouncing a person’s name, apologize for using incorrect pronouns.
  • Forgive accidental misgendering. Sometime we just need a little grace—mistakes happen. Correct a person for misgendering you and keep moving. However, if this occurs frequently, despite the corrections, report it to management and/or HR.

Contact Raquel Crump at if you have questions regarding this topic.