The Mayo Clinic has updated their company "Dress and Decorum Policy" to allow workers to wear buttons that display their preferred pronouns for others to use. The policy change was noted on the company's internal website.
Pronoun buttons are not the only changes the Mayo Clinic has initiated in the name of inclusivity. All restrooms at their facilities are to be gender-neutral, and the "Email Signature Policy" of the multi-site hospital chain has now been updated so that employees can include their gender pronouns in their official signature as well.
"By committing to using the correct pronouns, we are creating a space of respect and inclusion for all our patients, our staff and students," Mayo's vice chair of Administration Mary Jo Williamson said in reference to her company's explanation of the significance of the change.
"Pronouns are specific to an individual's gender identity," the clinic explained. "Often, people determine a person's gender based on their appearance, name or gender expression. However, individuals might not identify as either male or female but rather somewhere along the gender spectrum. In these circumstances, people might use gender-neutral pronouns such as ‘they/them' or a pronoun that better speaks to their identity, including newer pronouns such as ze/hir."
The clinic stressed that their change was a matter of respect since using someone's preferred pronouns "is as important as calling someone by their correct name."