Today (21 June 2021) Zoom has added an option to add personal pronouns to your account, and they can be displayed after your name when you join meetings.
Update: If you add your pronouns using this method, others may not see them until they update to the latest versions of Zoom.
“Do I need to do this if I have already added them to my ‘Display Name’ in Zoom?”
That will continue to work, but this new feature allows you to easily share or “unshare” your personal pronouns. So if you find yourself adding them for some meetings and removing them for others, this might be an easier and better option.
“How do I enable this?”
You should be able to go to https://zoom.us/profile and click the “Edit” link to the right of your name.
Once you do so, a new view will appear:
Under ‘Display Name’ there is a place for pronouns.
There is a dropdown to ask if you want to “Share in a meeting or webinar?”
- Ask me every time
- Always Share
- Do Not Share
Once you have the settings that you prefer, don’t forget to click “Save”:
Note that even if you choose “Always Share” or “Do Not Share” you can override your decision on a per-meeting basis after you have joined the meeting by clicking your name in the “Participants” list. Click the “…” button to reveal the option.
First, open the “Participants” panel and find your name:
Second, hover over your name with the mouse/trackpad and the line will change to this:
Click “More” and you will either see “Share” or “Unshare” depending on the current setting. Since mine are already set to share, this is what I saw:
If I choose to “Unshare My Pronouns” for this meeting, my default will be used for the next meeting that I join, or I can decide to share them by repeating the process and choosing “Share My Pronouns”:
Note! If your Zoom account is part of an organization (Admins)
If you are an admin for an organization, you must enable this setting before users (including yourself) can use it.
To do so, go to https://zoom.us/account/setting and scroll to bottom until you see the setting named:
“Allow users to enter and share pronouns”
You will notice that it is off by default_ (selector slid to the left). If you want to enable it, slide it to the right.
You will be asked to confirm your choice, and then asked if you want to be prompted again in the future, which I don’t want, so I checked the “Do not remind me again” box:
If your Zoom account is part of an organization (Non-Admins)
If you are not an admin and would like to use this feature, you may have to let them know this feature exists (it was just added on 2021-06-21). They may not know where to find it, so sending them the URL https://zoom.us/account/setting might help, especially if they understand that it is not just “off” but disabled by default, so no one can use it unless it is enabled as an option for those who choose to use it.
“I’ve seen people add pronouns after their name, but I don’t really understand it. Where can I learn more?”
There is a very helpful and straightforward site called MyPronouns.org which is the one that I used after it was recommended to me.
“Should my organization enable this setting?”
Users are not required to enter their pronouns, so there’s no reason that I can see to leave this setting disabled, and I wish it was enabled by default, but no one at Zoom asked me.
“My organization doesn’t have any transgender or non-binary people in it.”
Imagine someone was discussing a building which had no wheelchair access, and who said “We don’t need wheelchair access, no one here uses a wheelchair.”
You see the “chicken and the egg” problem there, right? If you don’t have wheelchair access, no one who needs wheelchair access can use that facility.
Likewise, while it may be true that no one who is currently a part of your organization is transgender or non-binary, that might change in the future.
There are some other important points to consider:
A) Sharing pronouns is something that everyone can do, and should, if they are willing and comfortable doing so, because it increases the number of people will see it and get used to it. If sharing pronouns is “only” something we expect of people who are transgender or non-binary, then it becomes a symbol of “otherness”. If everyone (or nearly everyone) shares their pronouns, then it is more likely that people who are non-binary and transgender would feel comfortable sharing their pronouns as well.
B) If people inside your organization ever have meetings with people outside your organization, they may want to share their pronouns in those meetings, which will again help to normalize the practice, especially if it is something that is done by most people, rather than just some.
“Should we require everyone to add their pronouns?”
No. If there are people who are uncomfortable sharing their pronouns, that seems like an unreasonable thing to require them to do.
Encouragement to share pronouns is good, especially when others lead by example, but generally speaking it is not something that I would recommend requiring. Encourage people to ask questions if they have them. It might be helpful for someone who is willing to offer to help explain this to people who might not understand the benefit.
Please feel free to share this article, copy it, modify it to suit your organization’s needs, etc…
Since this is a new feature, I found it difficult to find information about how to use it. You are obviously welcome to share the link to this post with others, but if you need to write-up your own “intro” or “how to” feel free to copy this article as a starting point.