Announcement
Why We Share Our Pronouns at nCino
June 14, 2021

By Dory Weiss, Executive Vice President of Engineering at nCino

If you connect with someone at nCino, you might notice pronouns listed in their email signature, Zoom profile, or LinkedIn headline.

At nCino, we believe that all people deserve to be referred to with the correct pronouns, and we support and welcome the inclusion of pronouns on any and all platforms. For nonbinary and trans teammates in particular, including pronouns in a signature or profile helps communicate gender identity. For cisgender teammates, including pronouns is an act of solidarity that helps normalize the pronoun conversation and takes some of the pressure off nonbinary and trans teammates. For all team members, having the tools to use the correct pronouns for coworkers fosters a more respectful, inclusive environment.

I think a lot about the importance of solidarity and inclusion in the workplace, especially as a gender non-conforming lesbian executive at a fintech company. Thanks to loving and supportive friends and family, I have the confidence to be out at work. As a result, I’m able to bring my whole self to work and that allows me to thrive. It’s best for me, and it’s best for nCino.

Sadly, I know that my experience isn’t common—not only for LGBTQ+ and gender non-conforming folks, but for many people of color and others underrepresented in the workplace. There are many people from the LGBTQ+ community in the business world, but we’re often not aware of them because they might not feel comfortable expressing that part of themselves in the workplace. There are also LGBTQ+ people who self-select out of the work they most want to do before even applying because they anticipate a lack of acceptance or downright hostility.

A few years ago, I had a profound professional experience. I was preparing to fly to New York City for a meeting with the senior leaders of a large enterprise bank to discuss how nCino could transform their business. It was a huge opportunity, but I felt nervous for a reason only tangentially related to the professional pressure: I didn’t know what to wear. I owned only one “fancy” outfit, a custom-tailored three-piece suit I had made for my wedding. If I wore it, what would these bankers from a very traditional workplace culture think when they saw me? Did I need to go buy a skirt for this meeting? If so, how would I possibly be able to do my job well while dressed in clothes that made me deeply uncomfortable?

When I expressed these worries to my boss, her advice was instantaneous. “Wear whatever you want,” she said. “The only person’s comfort I care about is yours.” For me, that moment embodied nCino’s culture:

nCino is a place where I am encouraged to be myself, feel safe doing so, and know I will be respected for who I am. Because I value that safety so much, I feel like it’s my responsibility to ensure that everyone else at nCino feels safe, too.

Whether we’re building software or cultivating an inclusive culture, I always come back to the same questions. How can we, as a company and a community, support our employees? How can we create a culture where everyone feels safe, comfortable, and respected? Who hasn’t seen themselves reflected in the workplace and in leadership positions? How can I set an example not only for our internal employees, but for the people I come into contact with through my work?

These are big questions, but when it comes to pronouns the answer is simple. Including “she/her” in my signature and on social platforms is a relatively small act that validates and makes space for all gender identities and shows trans teammates that their cis colleagues are willing to stand up for an equitable society.

If you’d like to learn more about pronouns—including how to incorporate them into your online presence and when you introduce yourself to new people—there are a few things you can do in the next five minutes that will make a huge difference:

  • Learn. Visit MyPronouns.org, a great resource dedicated to the use of personal pronouns in the English language. It’s a good primer for anyone who wants to better understand what pronouns are and why they matter, as well as how to respectfully ask for someone’s pronouns and how to share your own.
  • Update. LinkedIn recently added a pronoun field to profiles and gave users the option of sharing them with all LinkedIn members or limiting them to your connections. To add your pronouns, go to your LinkedIn profile, click the Edit button in the intro section, and navigate to the pronoun drop-down menu below your name. You can choose from “She/Her,” “He/Him,” “They/Them,” or add your own.
  • Expand. Think about the other platforms, programs and apps you use throughout your workday, and consider adding your pronouns to those as well. Email signatures, Zoom, Slack, and social media are all great places to share your pronouns. It’s a small act that adds up to create a safer, happier workplace for everyone.
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