Zoom’s new gender-inclusive feature

Zoom, Leadership, Zoom's new gender-inclusive feature

Zoom’s latest update will enable the seamless addition or edit of pronouns.

According to Zoom, numerous users have shared how they’ve manually added pronouns to their names and profiles within the Zoom platform. In fact, employees at Zoom have been doing the same themselves. Zoom has unveiled Pronouns, a new feature in Zoom 5.7.0 to help users feel more included, express themselves, and be seen following input from educators, social organisations, diversity leaders, and various Zoom customers optimise the experience of sharing pronouns on our platform. 

Pronouns are an essential piece to many of our diverse users expressing themselves and respectfully referring to others. Some common examples of pronouns are he/him/his, she/her/hers, and they/them/theirs.

While pronoun sharing can be particularly important to LGBTQ community members, Zoom recognises that it enables our users to better share about themselves and be more respectfully treated on our platform. 

In introducing the Pronouns feature, Zoom hopes this will help everyone feel better able to express themselves and respectfully address others, leading to a more robust culture of connectivity and an improved communications experience.

How to add your pronouns

To add pronouns previously, Zoom users could manually edit their display name, either during a live meeting or webinar or via their user profile page, displaying pronouns persistently across Zoom solutions. However, organisational policies and SSO integration can prohibit some users from editing their display names altogether. Additionally, some users may not want their pronouns displayed at every meeting. 

Now, it’s easy to add pronouns once AND manage how they get displayed from the user profile page. Just enter your pronouns in the custom text field on your profile page. Then, choose how and when they are shared during Zoom Meetings and Zoom Video Webinars.

While these sharing controls exist for meetings and webinars, pronouns are currently always visible to your Zoom contacts as part of your Zoom profile card, which you can view in your Contacts tab or by hovering over a person’s avatar in Zoom Chat.

Zoom administrators can view this support page for details on enabling the Pronouns feature for their organisation.

“Pronouns are how people refer to one another when not using their name. Using someone’s correct pronouns is akin to pronouncing their name correctly. This small but significant sign of respect goes a long way in creating an environment where everyone can show up, be seen, and addressed respectfully as who they are,” said Alex Schmider, Associate Director for Transgender Representation at GLAAD. “The way Zoom is carefully listening to its diverse user base, and engaging advocacy groups to provide a more inclusive video communications experience will enhance community interactions by allowing people to share more about themselves and encourage greater respect for each other across the platform.”

“Improved options for personal expression lead to a more inclusive and collaborative Zoom experience, especially for a learning institution that’s as uniquely global and diverse as NYU,” said Dr Lisa Coleman, NYU’s Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation. Their team provided input for Zoom’s Pronouns feature design. “Sharing pronouns is just one small way we can all contribute to a culture of connectedness, respect, inclusion, and thus, innovation, as we navigate a more hybrid learning experience.”

Default settings by account

The Pronouns feature will be visible by default on the profile page for free Basic accounts and accounts with a single licensed user. Pronouns will be off by default for Zoom accounts with more than one user. Administrators on those accounts will have the option to turn on the Pronouns field in their account settings.

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Zoom also supports SAML mapping of pronoun information from your identity provider. For example, if your identity provider supports a pronouns field, a user signing into Zoom with SSO will have their pronouns automatically mapped to their Zoom user profile. Download the latest client at zoom.us/download to access the Pronouns feature. If you don’t see the Pronouns field in your managed Zoom account, contact your organisation’s Zoom administrator.

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