SPONSORED: Empower your community with pronouns in Timely

At some point or another, we've all felt deflated or disrespected when someone has gotten our name wrong (even when it's clearly written at the bottom of an email). But as Tamara Reid, Head of Brand for Timely Business Management Software explains, pronouns are as much a part of someone's identity as their name...

Getting pronouns right means more to people than you might think - it's a way to help someone feel respected and seen. Our new pronouns feature makes it easy for your staff and your clients to communicate their pronouns, which in turn creates a safe, inclusive client experience for everyone who walks through your salon door.

Pronouns are terms we use to describe ourselves and our chosen gender, such as she/her or they/them. When we say ‘gender' we're talking about how someone feels inside, not their biological sex. For example, a cisgender person is someone whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex, and a transgender person is someone who has a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their birth sex.

Cisgender or transgender people might use she/her and he/him, but others might prefer gender-neutral pronouns such as they/them/their and ze/hir/hirs (pronounced zee/here/heres), or she/they and he/they if they're gender fluid. Someone's appearance or how they dress might not necessarily pair with their pronouns, which is why allowing your clients and team members to self-identify their pronouns is really important.

The role hair and beauty professionals play

Hair and beauty professionals play an important role in affirming someone's gender identity – you have the power to help someone express how they feel on the inside to the rest of the world. Hair and makeup are often the first port of call for someone looking to experiment with their identity, but salons can be gender-coded spaces, right down to setting the price of a treatment (e.g. male vs female priced haircuts or treatments).

How to talk about pronouns with clients

It sounds simple but asking clients what their pronouns are when you say hello puts everyone at ease. There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • In a one-on-one conversation, we recommend sharing your own pronouns first, aiming to create a space where others can openly share theirs. For example, “Hello, my name is Alex, and my pronouns are they/them. Before we continue with this conversation, would you feel comfortable sharing your pronouns with me?”
  • Another tip is to listen to how your client's self-refer, or how others refer to them (particularly if they are with friends/family). Mirror the pronouns they use.
  • As part of an introduction or icebreaker at work or in a group setting, you can say, “Tell us your name, your role, and if you're comfortable, your gender pronoun.”

If you use Timely's pronoun selector, you'll know someone's pronouns in advance before their appointment, which not only takes away any awkwardness but helps you create a comfortable, welcoming client experience.

Why we've created the Pronouns feature

Timely is all about helping you create an amazing client experience and making people feel appreciated, understood, and comfortable with you and your staff is a crucial part of that. If your clients feel like they belong in your salon, they'll not only keep coming back; they'll encourage their network to visit you as well.

Our pronouns feature is the first in a number of improvements we'll be making to Timely to help your business create an inclusive and diverse space for everyone.

How it works

Our simple pronoun selector makes it quick and easy to capture pronouns, which are then conveniently displayed across Timely, so you always have the information that you need.

The benefits of our pronoun feature
  • It allows your clients to self identify their personal pronouns when they make an online booking
  • Your client profiles in Timely now include personal pronouns, so they're always available
  • Pronouns are surfaced in the calendar to help team members use the right identifying words with their clients
  • Your team members can also make their pronouns visible to clients as part of the online booking process

Tamara Reid is the Head of Brand at Timely Beauty Business Software. For more information, visit gettimely.com