Announcing the change in a “Weekly Recap” post on the Google Workspace Updates (opens in new tab) blog, the company also explained that pronouns will also be displayed in Google Contacts, accessible via the “open detailed view” option in the information cards seen when hovering over Workspace profile photos.
If an admin has enabled the feature for their organization, users can set their pronouns and visibility in their Google Account (opens in new tab), while admins can learn more about the feature from Google’s Help Center (opens in new tab).
Google Workspace pronouns
The tech giant is keen to point out that only users on various Google Workspace plans, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, can access the feature through their organization.
Though a welcome feature, it’s somewhat baffling that a feature geared towards personal expression is only available in a work setting, one that people may feel less comfortable expressing themselves in, or feel pressured to do so.
Google already gives Workspace users the choice to specify their gender, affecting how Google refers to and presents them to other Workspace users.
For example, users may see text like “send her a message”. Similarly, if a user identifies as another gender altogether, or prefers not to specify, Google products will refer to that user as “them”.
The latest move enabling users to display their pronouns is simply a more overt way of presenting those choices, and for organizations to show clear support of trans and alternate gender identities. We’re all for it.