Marks & Spencer has introduced the option for all its employees to wear name badges featuring their chosen pronouns.
The move – which came from a suggestion via the retailer’s employee suggestion initiative – now means that M&S workers right across the country have the to use “whichever combinations of pronouns is right for them”
Announcing the decision to introduce the new pronoun badges, a post by the retailer shared to online business and employment platform LinkedIn said: “Recently, we introduced pronoun name badges for our colleagues, encouraging as many of them as possible to wear whichever combination of pronouns is right for them.
“An amazing initiative provided by one of our colleagues Morgen Kane to our ‘Suggest to Steve’ programme as we continue to build an inclusive future, together.”
The introduction of the badges is said to have been met with praise by staff.
Alongside the LinkedIn post, M&S posted a photo taken by employee David Parke, 28 – a food PR manager from Croydon – in which he showed his own pronoun badge reading: “He/Him/His”.
“Giving people the option to display their pronouns at work is really important as it encourages them to show allyship towards trans and non-binary colleagues,” Mr Parke told the PA News Agency.
“Many of us already include our pronouns in our email signatures, but when you’re talking to people in person, it’s useful to know how they want to be referred to in order to help everyone feel comfortable and avoid any misgendering.”
He continued: “Right now, trans people in the UK are facing more abuse and discrimination than ever before, and so it’s up to all of us to create an inclusive culture and make sure everyone gets the respect they deserve.
“It’s great that M&S is proactively taking these sorts of steps to support and celebrate LGBTQ+ colleagues.”
Sasha Misra – Associate director of communications and campaigns at leading LGBTQ+ rights organisation, Stonewall – added: “It’s great to see an increasing number of businesses offering the option of badges with pronouns for staff.
“Creating an inclusive workplace starts with everyday actions, and having pronouns on badges is a simple yet impactful way to make sure LGBTQ+ identities are respected.”
Featured Image – Twitter (@dparke)