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Pronouns matter at Coast Capital

At Coast Capital, we seek to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for our members, employees and the communities we serve. We believe there is nothing more empowering, or important than the basic human right to simply be your authentic self at home, in the workplace and in your community. As part of our ongoing efforts to remove (in)visible barriers to create a safe space for people of all sexes and gender identities, we want to ensure the respectful use of pronouns in our branches and offices and will continue exploring opportunities to further these efforts.

Coast Capital has launched an internal campaign centred around gender identity and pronouns by providing our employees with gender sensitivity and inclusive language learning resources, as well as the opportunity and a safe space to proactively self-identify and indicate their pronouns through email signatures and introductions with colleagues, members or partners.

The initiative has been developed in close collaboration with Coast Capital’s Pride Inclusivity Network (PIN), our internal LGBTQ2+ employee resource group. The team plays a key role in ensuring our employee and member experience reflects the individual needs of those within our market areas, regardless of their gender identity or expression.

Ryan Pedwell, Co-Chair Pride Inclusivity Network: “It’s important to me as a leader at Coast Capital to ensure that I use the appropriate pronouns that my team, colleagues, stakeholders and members want to be addressed as. I embrace the fact that I too have internal biases and have used the wrong pronouns (based on assumptions or appearances) when conversing with members of my community in the past. It is important to acknowledge, apologize and take action by ensuring I utilize the appropriate pronoun going forward. This is a learning journey for all of us and I am excited to be on this journey with my Coast Capital colleagues and members.”

We invite you to join us as we strive to advance the knowledge of using correct pronouns and create a more inclusive environment at Coast Capital.

Common pronouns

Personal pronouns are words that are used to refer to people without using their name, such as he, she, or they. They are part of how people recognize and address us at home, work and in community spaces. People may choose to use a variety of pronouns. Below is a list of some commonly used pronouns and how they are used:

Subject Object Possessive Pronoun Reflective
He Him His His Himself
“He studied” “I called him” “His pencil” “That is his” “He trusts himself”
She Her Her Hers Herself
“She studied” “I called her” “Her pencil” “That is hers” “She trusts herself”
They Them Their Thiers Themselves
“They studied” “I called them” “Their pencil” “That is thiers” “They trusts themslves”
Ze (or Zie) Hir Hir Hirs Hirself

“Ze studied”
(“zee”)

“I called hir”
(“heer”)
“His hir” “That is hirs” “Ze trusts hirself”

Source: https://lgbt.ucsf.edu/pronounsmatter

In Canada, the gender-neutral “they” is a personal pronoun that is commonly used by non-binary people and is now recognized as a grammatically correct singular pronoun. This is not an exhaustive list and as pronouns can change over time.

Best practices for using and respecting pronouns

  • Avoid assumptions. People do not always use the pronoun that you may expect based on their name, appearance or past beliefs.
  • Listen to the pronouns others use when to referring to the individual.
  • Introduce yourself. If you have not yet met the individual, be proactive in introducing yourself with your name and pronouns. This gives the other person a space and opportunity to share their own name and pronouns.
  • In introductions, it is also okay to ask the individual how they would like to be addressed.
  • Try to use gender-neutral pronouns in your daily conversations with others. If you accidentally use the wrong pronoun, acknowledge, apologize and move on.

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