At T-Mobile, #BeYou has become an employee mantra — so much so that it’s displayed on magenta-painted walls in company hallways around the country. But it’s more than just a catchphrase. It’s representative of the company’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion that is truly part of its DNA. With this in mind, senior leaders are always open to new ways to support employees who want to better express who they are. That’s why, starting November 6, T-Mobile is launching new optional name badges for all retail employees that can include employees’ personal pronouns. Employees at T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile retail stores can choose to add any of the following options:
- Ask me my pronouns
This is just another way for employees to express who they are, in addition to already having the option to add their military affiliation (veteran or active duty), and up to four languages that they speak. The inclusion of pronouns will help give another outlet for employees to be their authentic selves in the workplace, be addressed as they wish and help create even more connection and engagement with customers.
And it all began with an email from a retail employee.
The ability to be herself is one of the many reasons that Tiffanie Moton, Truck Store Manager, was eager to join T-Mobile back in 2017. As a gay woman and long-time advocate for diversity, inclusion and LGBTQ+ issues, she knew that the company offered her the opportunity to bring her whole self to work, and to share feedback on ways to make the company even more inclusive. T-Mobile’s reputation for acting on feedback from employees — whether the end goal was providing better customer experiences or making it an even better best place to work — was a huge draw.
Tiffanie was inspired by a coworker who was transitioning, who did not want to be referred to as he or she. Tiffanie realized that a simple addition to name tags would help this employee from being misgendered and is an easy solution to bringing up the pronoun conversation.
After meeting Jon Freier, T-Mobile’s Executive Vice President of Consumer Markets, at a World Pride in New York City over the summer, Tiffanie sent a follow-up email with an idea to add pronouns to name badges — citing wording from MyPronouns.org to help her explain the importance.
I've wanted to write this for a couple months now. I'm not sure if this has been suggested before. If it has not, this is the reason sending this request wouldn't leave my thoughts.
This website I just found helped me find the words to share my thoughts.
"Often, people make assumptions about the gender of another person based on the person’s appearance or name. These assumptions aren’t always correct, and the act of making an assumption (even if correct) sends a potentially harmful message — that people have to look a certain way to demonstrate the gender that they are or are not." – https://www.mypronouns.org/
I think it would make a lot of our employees embrace our #BEYOU culture by allowing them to have their pronouns on our nametags.
I hope you're able to present this idea to whomever will bring this to life. On behalf of all those who would appreciate this option, thank you in advance!
Jon Freier was quick to respond - and take action. A few weeks later, the new retail name badges with pronouns are now available for employees across the nation.
"These new badges are a prescription for happiness," Moton says. "They show that T-Mobile is all-in for inclusion, that we care about our employees' well-being and I am excited to wear them as a conversation starter. The badges will help educate us about addressing others with respect as well as avoid awkward moments like being misgendered, judged or stared at."
"I always take feedback from my team seriously. By creating a culture of transparency and minimal hierarchy, we can continue to make changes that make us an even stronger place to work - and most importantly, create a comfortable space for our employees," said Jon Freier, Executive Vice President of Consumer Markets at T-Mobile. "I want to personally thank Tiffanie for being a voice for the LGBTQA+ community and spearheading this change. I can't wait to see what the team comes up with next!"
In addition to the new pronoun option on name badges, employees are encouraged to add pronouns to email addresses and kick off meetings by sharing pronouns. The T-Mobile benefits team also just reviewed all of the company’s available options looking for gender references, to make sure that options are accommodating for all employees. For a complete list of why T-Mobile is named one of the best workplaces for LGBTQ+ inclusion by the Human Rights Campaign, check out this page.
- Human Rights Campaign: https://www.hrc.org/resources/talking-about-pronouns-in-the-workplace
- Human Rights Campaign: https://www.hrc.org/resources/a-workplace-divided-understanding-the-climate-for-lgbtq-workers-nationwide