Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

New Pronouns Feature on Microsoft 365

To support greater inclusivity, Microsoft 365 has introduced a new feature that allows users to add their pronouns to their profile, which will be visible on MS Teams and the web version of Outlook. To shed light on the significance of this feature, we had the privilege of interviewing David Pereira (he/they), Acting Director of the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office (SGDO).  

Pereira expressed his excitement over any new feature that supports and promotes gender inclusion and diversity in the workplace. “In trainings offered by the SGDO, participants often ask how they should ask for someone’s pronouns,” said Pereira. “This feature doesn’t eliminate the need to ask someone’s pronouns in some instances. It can, however, substitute the need to ask someone’s pronouns while in a Teams meeting or while writing an email on the web version of Outlook.”  

Using this handy feature to learn or confirm someone’s pronouns can meaningfully contribute to a campus where trans and nonbinary colleagues and students feel welcome and a sense of belonging.  

“Picture this: You’re in a Teams meeting, and you want to raise and properly credit an idea a new co-worker proposed in the previous meeting, but you’re not sure which pronouns they use,” said Pereira. “Rather than assuming their pronouns, you can type in their name into Teams and hover over their profile to see whether they’ve indicated their pronouns. To me, that’s pretty exciting, and it’s a new innovation that can benefit everyone.”  

The feature is optional, but users are encouraged to add their pronouns to their profile on MS Teams. “The function allows users to self-select their pronouns, which means that users can customize this to their needs,” said Pereira.  

For those who have questions about what to include in the field, Pereira recommends visiting the pronouns page on the SGDO’s website for helpful explanations about pronouns.   

The SGDO welcomes feedback on the feature. Pereira hopes the U of T community will find the feature a useful tool and invites anyone to reach out to the SGDO with any questions or concerns. 

Please full-screen the video for easier viewing.

To add pronouns on your profile in Microsoft 365:

  1. Teams:
    Open your profile card by selecting your circular profile picture in the upper right corner of Teams.
    Outlook Web:
    Open your profile card by selecting your name or profile picture in Outlook Mail.
  2. On your profile card, select the + Pronouns button listed below your name.
  3. To add or change your pronouns, select from the examples or enter your own.
  4. Select Save and then Got it. Changes are updated immediately.