Your Journey Part 2: Pronouns – to share or not to share?

You may want to share your pronouns when applying, following up to accept an interview offer, or when introducing yourself at the beginning of the interview. If the interviewers share their pronouns either in their email signature or in person, it’s a good indicator of the kind of training and awareness they have around gender diversity.


Disclosing when creating your application

Benefits

Put yourself forward and weed out employers that don’t have the environment you’re looking for.

Drawbacks

You may worry that a decision about whether to interview you was based on identity rather than qualifications.

Things to consider

Discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression is against the law. However, transphobia (and discrimination on other protected grounds) can happen if you provide this information at the application stage. If you’re unsure whether or not to include this information at the application stage, you can speak to a human resources representative or another employee at the company if you know one, to see how this information would be handled.

Tip: If you want to disclose at this stage, you can consider including your pronouns next to your name on your resume, or in your signature at the end of a cover letter.


Disclosing when offered an interview

Benefits

Disclosure at this point can lead to a more comfortable interview for both interviewee and interviewer. It also allows you to make any accommodation requests that might help your interview progress smoothly.

Drawbacks

Depending on reception to disclosure, it may distract interviewers from focusing on your qualifications at the interview.

Things to consider

Once offered, it is unlikely that an interview offer will be withdrawn (if it is, this may be grounds for a human rights complaint).

Tip: Speak to or email someone at the company (e.g. human resources) about any needs associated with your application. You can share your gender pronouns and inquire about allgender or single-user washrooms and other needs you may have during your interview.


Disclosing during the interview

Benefits

Disclosing in person can help you control tone, which may allow you to casually raise what’s important in a moment that feels most appropriate. You’re able to then present yourself how you want, and the responses of the interview committee members may give you an authentic reading of the organization. To help interviewers accurately refer to you in their decision-making process, you could choose to share your pronouns at the end of the interview once they’ve learned about your skills and experiences.

Drawbacks

Sharing your pronouns early in the interview could change the focus away from your experiences and on to your gender. Even if this doesn’t actually happen, you might worry that it has, which can distract you from focusing on the interview. Sharing your pronouns towards the end might mean you’re being misgendered throughout the interview. Also, if this is the last piece of information you leave the hiring committee with, it could become a focus of their discussion of you as a potential candidate.

Things to consider

Interviews go two ways. As they’re assessing you, you’re assessing them too. Even if you get an offer, do you want this job?

Tip: Consider your personal reaction when being misgendered, and the impact it might have during an interview. It’s helpful to prepare how you will respond (or not) if you are misgendered.

 

Continue to Part 2