Customers at Marks & Spencer stores and offices across the U.K. now can identify the gender of the company’s employees, not based on their faces or appearance but on their so-called pronoun badges.
Daily Mail reported their new badges now include the company’s logo, the person’s name, and feature their chosen pronouns: “He/Him/His,” “She/Her/Hers,” and “They/Them/Their.”
Marks & Spencer revealed that its diversity managers started the initiative after their staff asked to include gender pronouns on their name badges.
David Parke, the store’s Food PR manager, shared a photo of his pronoun badge on social media, saying the badges have helped employees to speak openly about gender identity.
They “helped start some very necessary conversations around gender identity and non-binary experiences,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post.
In his post, Parke said he is grateful that his company “actively encourages us to share our pronouns at work, whether on our name badges or in our email signatures.”
The Sun cited social campaigner Nick Buckley from “Go Woke Go Broke,” saying that businesses should stay out of politics, calling Marks & Spencer’s move “virtue signaling.”
But Sasha Misra, associate director of communications and campaigns at Stonewall, said that “having pronouns on badges is a simple yet impactful way to make sure LGBTQ+ identities are respected—for employees and customers alike.”