The importance of pronouns and checking names

Making sure you refer to someone by the correct name and pronouns (during face-to-face interactions or in written format such as emails), can make a world of difference and demonstrates your dedication to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Information about Pronouns: 

Pronouns are the words we use to refer to someone when we are not using their name… “They”, “Them”, “She”, “Her”, “He”, “Him”, “Zie”, “Fey” … are just some examples.

Pronouns usually suggest a person’s gender, which is why it is important we get this right, particularly when it comes to supporting trans/transgender communities.

Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves, can demonstrate your support as an ally and your commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in and outside LJMU.

Top-tips when it comes to pronouns:

  • When you introduce yourself, include your pronoun. This can remind people that it may not always be obvious what pronoun someone uses
  • Put your pronouns in your email signature, social media profiles and Zoom/MS Teams account names
  • Try to avoid addressing groups or people with gendered language (e.g. instead of using ‘ladies and gentleman’, use the word ‘everyone’ to address a group)
  • If you are not sure what someone’s pronouns are, ask them
  • If you accidentally misgender someone (use the wrong pronoun), just apologise and make sure you use their correct pronoun from that point on

Example of gender pronouns:

  • Pronouns which are often associated with men are “He” and “Him
  • Pronouns which are often associated with women are “Her” and “She
  • Gender neutral pronouns include “They”, “Them”, “Per”, “Zie and “Fey

It is important to note that people may wish to identify with a combination of pronouns and others which are not reflected above, LJMU supports this and encourages all staff, students and visitors to identify the way that they feel most comfortable.

Below you will find an example of how you may wish to incorporate your own pronouns into your email signature.

LJMU email signature example:

Email signature




  • Insert full name Insert Qualifications (Insert your preferred pronouns, i.e.: They/Them He/Him She/Her)
  • Insert team or Programme of Study
  • Insert Department and or Faculty
  • Liverpool John Moores University | Insert full workplace address (for staff only)
  • e: Insert email address t: Insert telephone number(s)

International Pronouns Day and LJMU’s Gender Diversity Guidance Document:

Every year the UK celebrates International Pronouns Day, which began in 2018 and takes place on the third Wednesday of October each year. The day seeks to make respecting, sharing and educating about personal pronouns common practice.

To find out more about International Pronouns Day please visit the Stonewall website.

LJMU Gender Diversity guidance document