Pronouns are tied to our deepest sense of identity. They really talk about who we are, how the outside world should recognize and address us, how we want to be addressed. So you think about that. If you make the wrong assumption, and it's very easy to assume about someone's gender identity or expression.
And by extension, their pronoun, using the wrong one, can be insulting and harmful, and we don't want that for anybody. So certainly, the use of pronouns really helps that way. It can also make a big difference in the mental health and well-being of everyone, particularly the transgender and gender nonconforming individuals
Definitely make sure that you don't force anyone to put their pronouns in, but it's definitely a good offering to ask people, if they're comfortable, to put them into their email signature.
I've had people call me multiple times saying, I want to be an ally, don't know how. And that's really the way to start it. It's a conversation.
And so much of any relationship, belief, anything you're looking to do starts with the question. And ask the questions, how do I get involved? What can I do to support you?
The more you can be your genuine self at work, by bringing your whole self to work, as we call it, the more productive your organization will be. And part of that is the CG, my employer, offers benefits that apply to me, apply to my friends, apply to the people I care about, and make me feel better at work as well.
When we get into this conversation about inclusive benefits, I hear sometimes from people, oh, well we're doing it just for them, like those people now need something special. And here at Guardian, we rolled out a policy, and this policy was around primary and secondary caregiver leave. Notice I didn't say maternity leave. I was saying primary and secondary caregiver leave.
So how does this start to change the conversation? One, it's saying, hey, we recognize all caregivers, LGBTQ plus, aunts, uncles, grandparents, how people are bringing a child into their life to be their caregiver. And when we look at what is inclusion, inclusion just doesn't benefit one type. It starts to include everyone. And actually starts giving all of us stronger benefits to build our families, our communities, and really be there for one another.
When I initially was head of domestic partnership in Los Angeles, the employer was working for at the time, besides showing my domestic partnership which at the time the state of California said was equivalent to marriage, I also had to show two other forms of proof that my husband and I were in a committed relationship, proof of residency, a utility bill, a joint checking account or something like that yet my colleagues in opposite sex marriages didn't even have to show a marriage license. So one of the things with your inclusive benefits is also showing that your requirements for everybody are the same and that you're treating all your employees the same for that equal piece of it.
Obviously, you want inclusive policies in your organization and you certainly want your leadership exhibiting those and living by them. Often, individuals will look at a company's policy, and even somebody who's not LGBTQ will look at the company's policies on LGBTQ. And do they have transgender benefits? Even though they may not apply specifically to me as a candidate. But if the company treats their employees who aren't like me well, they're going to treat me well, and that's the type of company I'm going to want to go work for.
It's the right thing to do because it's going to build your business. And it's going to engage and retain our employees. And it's going to give us good standing in the community. And at the end of the day, it should lead to higher sales and higher customer satisfaction. So why wouldn't you want that?