Built for the Future: My business card includes my pronouns

Ted Eytan MD Business Card with Pronouns
Ted Eytan MD Business Card with Pronouns (View on Flickr.com)

Resilient people and companies face reality with staunchness, make meaning of hardship instead of crying out in despair, and improvise solutions from thin air. Others do not. This is the nature of resilience, and we will never completely understand it. – Coutu DL. How resilience works. Harv. Bus. Rev. 2002;80(5):46.

Now that I’ve presented this card in enough contexts (and in an actual presentation, see below), I’d like to share it here as an easy innovation that anyone can do to build respect for all people and change society to be more inclusive.

And, it’s obvious – adding the pronouns I use for myself in my email sig, and also on my business card, pictured above. (Note, it’s not “pronouns I prefer” – preference implies that it’s optional)

As it shows in the image, I’ve received unexpected and awesome comments from people who notice. The one above is from Sarah Firman.

Jason Bellett (@Jason_Bellett) from Eko Devices (@EkoDevices) said this to me when he saw it:

Quick side note, I think it’s phenomenal that you put your preferred gender pronouns in your email signature…I hope it sparks others to follow suit.

And then, I noticed his pronouns were in his e-mail sig. That’s diffusion of innovation. And respect. I love this century 🙂 .

credit for this innovation doesn’t go to me. It goes to one of my mentors, Garrett G, (see: WAIT = Why am I Talking? Learning how to be a better Ally ) who suggested that I do this, and when I said my e-mail sig was already too long, he said, “Just add them in parenthesis after your name.”

I did, it was simple, and it works, for me, for the people I serve, for the future of health for all that I am going to help create.

It will work for you to, try it now, or if you’re not sure, ask questions in the comments…

Here’s the presentation it was part of, by the way. With great thanks to Kaiser Permanente for promoting resilience in people and the health system.

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