What are personal pronouns and why are they important?

Celebrating individuality starts with respecting each other’s identity

Our society is constantly evolving. Our perspectives are constantly expanding. And today, people are feeling more empowered than ever to enter the workplace with gender identities and expressions beyond what we most frequently think of when discussing gender. There are many things we can do to support individuals who find the bravery to be authentic at work, as well as those who are still on the journey of self-discovery. One of the simplest ways to do this is by making the use of personal pronouns common practice, including gender-neutral pronouns.

Gender-neutral pronouns can serve as more suitable alternatives for anyone who doesn’t identify as he/him or she/her on the binary gender spectrum. Individuals who are transgender or gender nonconforming (GNC) — those who don’t identify strictly as male nor female — often challenge our existing norms and the way we understand gender. These team members may choose to use gender-neutral pronouns such as they, them, and theirs. And when you use those personal pronouns appropriately in conversation and correspondence, you not only demonstrate a fundamental gesture of respect, but also a bold allyship for the trans and GNC communities. Most importantly, you create a space where everyone can feel comfortable to share their gendered identity freely.

Fostering a more inclusive environment at AmerisourceBergen

At AmerisourceBergen, we are united in our responsibility to create healthier futures. It is this, our purpose, that drives every AmerisourceBergen team member to embrace progress and harness the potential therein. We take this approach in the work we do and the way we care for one another. Naturally, our guiding principles of putting people first and celebrating individuality are the key inspirations that help us make that a reality.

Introducing personal pronouns at AmerisourceBergen and encouraging all our team members to use them at their own discretion perfectly aligns with our purpose and will help us further develop the culture of our company — one where all our peers, partners, and patients can feel fully supported. The use of personal pronouns in the workplace is one small act each and every team member can take to promote inclusivity within their sphere of influence.

Empowering our team members to make positive change

The first step to helping our team members understand the importance of personal pronouns and use them confidently is providing education and guidance. We all must be intentional with how we use personal pronouns and how to ask others for theirs, so AmerisourceBergen’s Diversity & Inclusion team has partnered with the organization’s LGBTAllies employee resource group to build that foundation. These teams have worked together to set email signature guidelines for pronoun use and shared those broadly throughout the enterprise. They’re also continuing to share timely resources and hosting in-depth panel discussions with trans representation to promote further discussion and ongoing learning.

“At AmerisourceBergen, diversity and inclusion are hallmarks of how we lead.  Pronouns are a simple act that provides power to team members which allows them to bring their most authentic and true self into the workplace. Beyond creating a sense of belonging, the addition of pronouns to email signatures and titles are a small visible act of solidarity allies and advocates alike can use to show support to the broader LGBTQIA+ community."

Dr. Lonie Haynes, SVP and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

Join us as we work to foster inclusion on a global scale

We encourage you to identify and use your personal pronouns along with us. To get started, feel free to explore the resources linked at the bottom of this page. Then consider adding your personal pronouns to your email signature, LinkedIn profile, and the title slides on your presentation slide decks.

Here is a list of commonly used personal pronouns from across the globe. Feel free to choose the ones that best represent your authentic self. If you have any questions, please contact inclusion@amerisourcebergen.com.

Gender Expression Subjective Objective Possessive Reflexive

female she her hers herself
male he him his himself
gender neutral they them their themself
gender neutral ze zir zir zirself
gender neutral ve vis ver vemself
gender neutral xie hir hir hirself
gender neutral ey em eir emself
gender neutral co co cos coself
gender neutral en en ens enself
gender neutral yo yo yos yoself


The Human Rights Campaign

Talking about pronouns in the workplace

BBC News

A brief history of gender-neutral pronouns


5 gender-neutral terms from around the world

Rosetta Stone

LGBTQIA+Everyone: The state of inclusive language around the world


Everything you ever wanted to know about gender-neutral pronouns

The Washington Post

A guide to how gender-neutral language is developing around the world


Exclusively Inclusive

Preferred gender pronouns

The World

Introducing myself as “they/them/their” at my workplace


Inclusion and the use of gender-neutral pronouns in the workplace



Why gender pronouns matter

TEDx Talks

Toilets, bowties, gender, and me

Ohio State Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Pronouns: What they are and why they matter


Gender identity and pronouns: What will you teach the world?

HiHo Kids

Kids meet a gender non-conforming person