Orfalea Librarian Speaks on Pronouns to SLO Chamber of Commerce

On October 17, Orfalea College of Business Librarian Mark Bieraugel presented on pronouns in the workplace to over 100 business professionals attending Good Morning SLO, a Chamber of Commerce event. He spoke about the importance of spending time to learn coworkers’ preferred pronouns as well as share your own. Taking these simple steps, Bieraugel said, contributes significantly to the cultivation of an inclusive work environment for people of various gender identities.

“The thing about pronoun use is how intensely personal it is, like your name,” he said in his presentation. “Your pronouns are you, and everyone deserves to be called by their right name.”

He gave the business professionals in attendance practical tips on how to be thoughtful in their day-to-day workplace interactions. Then, in true Cal Poly fashion, he led them in a Learn by Doing exercise, asking for each others’ preferred pronouns.

“Most of the time, pronouns aren’t going to be an issue. But we want to make an inclusive environment where your colleagues, your coworkers, your boss, and your customers feel respected,” Bieraugel said.

Bieraugel will be leading a workshop on pronouns at work for Orfalea College of Business academic and peer advisors this fall, and he’s excited to lead more in the community and on campus in the future.