Advice – Ensuring support is given

  • Creator
  • #87460
    Jessica Holmes


    I’m looking for some advice.

    I currently work for an organisation and have    employed a new staff member. I have found from doing the required job checks that they have the title ‘Mx’. My company currently don’t have a policy around those who have or may be transgender or transitioning and also don’t have the option to have any other title other than Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms. I have taken this up with our HR department as that in itself is a massive issue! However I want to ensure that they have the support from me as their manager, as well as the company itself.

    The advice I need is how to approach the subject of pronouns. I really don’t want to upset or offend anyone, however I want to ensure the correct pronouns are used from day 1 of them starting in their new role with us. If anyone can relate to this, how would you like this question to be asked? Could asking the question be offensive in any way?

    I really hope this query comes across in the right way. I just want to ensure I support my new employee the best way I can.



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  • Author
    • #90019
      DeeAnn Hopings


      How did all this turn out? I think it would make for an interesting datapoint.

    • #88231

      If I were on the other side of the desk I would much prefer bei g asked straight out. “Do you have a preference when it comes to pronouns?” Or something similar. I am not precious about answering a genuine enquiry, and I use feminine pronouns, but I prefer to be known by my name than by a pronoun.

      In my experience it causes more offense to try not to cause kffense than it does to ask a straight question, if you see what I mean

    • #87482
      Miss Cloé

      I can”t speak for your employee, but as a member of the LGBTQ+ community thank you for standing up.  Too many of us have run into employers that weren’t as receptive to put it mildly.


    • #87467
      Miss Cloé

      Hi Jessica,
      Mx is gender neutral and is just as likely used because someone doesn’t want to use any gender.  I wouldn’t focus on the individual.  We don’t usually want gender to be at the core of everything and most certainly would prefer work to one of those places where it shouldn’t matter.  My suggestion would be to just focus on the fact that the HR systems do not handle Mx at this time even though you are fully supportive in matters of diversity and that the issue has been escalated.  Hopefully you’ll have an answer from HR before you have to have the conversation.  You may want to be delving into the area of diversity training for your team too with HR.

      Cloe Webb
      Managing Ambassador
      Transgender Heaven

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #87468

        Thanks for the advice Cloe, it was extremely helpful. I will also be speaking to our legal team regarding the issues mentioned earlier. I think, sadly, the subject has been overlooked. However I’ll be certainly doing all I can from my end to ensure the correct support and equal opportunities are in place for not only members of my own team, but employees of the entire organisation.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #87466
      Michelle Larsen

      Jessica, with me, and this is only my opinion, not anyone else’s, but a direct approach would be fine. “I noticed you listed ‘Mx’. What way would work best for you being referred to?’ Of course, I also do not know what the laws are in your state that may affect how this would be handled. Granted I would always prefer female pronouns, but if someone slips, so long as it isn’t malicious, I would not have a problem. I hope this helps. Michelle

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #87469

        Thank you for the advice Michelle. I live in the UK and have found from this that I don’t know enough about the laws myself. I’ll be investing a lot of time over the next few weeks researching and replacing my ignorance with knowledge to ensure my new employee has all of the support in place. I have always thought of myself as a supporter of the trans community but this has really made me step back and re-evaluate. I’m hoping that by helping to spread awareness of the issues mentioned earlier within my organisation, I’ll be able to help members of the trans community in the future.

    • #87461

      You could just introduce yourself as yourself, HI, my name is Jessica and I am a cis female and use female pronouns. That is how my Dr introduced herself the other day. And I didn’t take it offensively. Hopefully your new staff member, they get the idea and intro themselves the same way.

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