2 July 2024
by Dr Colin Church FIMMM

Why do I put my personal pronouns on my email, etc?

IOM3 CEO Colin Church explains why he shares his personal pronouns.

I put my personal pronouns in my email signature, LinkedIn profile, etc because someone in my leadership position doing so can normalise it for others, which in turn can be part of my efforts to support a more diverse and inclusive community. 

International inclusivity
IOM3 – the organisation I lead – is an international body, with members in over 90 countries. Alongside that, many of our UK-based members come from a cultural and linguistic background other than English. If you have tried to learn a foreign language, you will know that getting pronouns right is one of the early struggles, especially when you may not be able to work out whether a given name is usually that of a female or a male. I put mine up so that, hopefully, it becomes normal for everyone, which will then help reduce or remove that inter-cultural barrier in a professional context and avoid the odd cringeworthy error.

Gender inclusivity
An increasing number of people identify themselves in different ways, for example as transgender or as nonbinary. For them, highlighting their preferred personal pronouns can feel quite risky, especially if they are early in their journey or if their workplace feels less accepting.

If I can help to normalise the sharing of personal pronouns, then that can help improve the inclusivity of both IOM3 membership and, perhaps, some of those workplaces. 

Dr Colin Church FIMMM CEnv CWM MCIWM
Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining


Dr Colin Church FIMMM

Chief Executive, IOM3