According to a report in the student-run Stanford University newspaper the Stanford Review, Goldman Sachs has begun distributing pamphlets to employees which were created by the investment bank’s internal LGBT group, and which encourage employees to use recently developed gender-neutral pronouns when dealing with other staff members.
Distributed by the firm’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender network, the new guide tells employees to “proactively share [their] pronouns to foster an environment of respect and awareness.” The pamphlet provides examples of “the most common” gender-neutral pronouns, but also indicates employees may have to refer to specific individuals by pronouns which are not covered in the pamphlet, or refrain from using any pronouns entirely, based on the individual preferences of those employees.
The pamphlets go on to provide examples of appropriate pronoun usage, such as, “Ze went to the store. I spoke with zir/zem. The apple was zirs/zes,” and tells employees to “replace gendered language with gender-inclusive language wherever possible (e.g. ‘hi all vs. ‘hi guys’).”
The backside of the pamphlet includes “Tips for Being An Inclusive Ally” such as “Be Proactive, ” “No Assumptions,” and “Handling Mistakes.”
Under a “Tip” on variations, Goldman Sachs employees employees are instructed to “Recognize that some people go by multiple sets of pronouns, while others may choose to only use their name and eschew pronouns completely.”
It was unclear to what degree Goldman Sachs management intends to enforce the strictures or what punishments might be incurred for violations of the guidelines.