Embracing the power of pronouns, one pin at a time

Starbucks partners (employees) can now add he/him, she/her they/them pronoun pins to their green apron , reaffirming the company's commitment to building an inclusive and diverse Starbucks for all

Pronouns are some of the most frequently used words in the English language, as it’s a way we address or refer to others in our everyday conversations and routines.  Other than a person’s name, it is one of the main ways that people can identify and express themselves. Additionally, pronouns allow us to respect identities across the gender spectrum by giving individuals the opportunity to self-identify and connect with others as their authentic selves.

Over the last three decades, Starbucks Canada has been committed to creating a safe community for our partners (employees) and customers where differences are embraced and building a culture that fosters a sense of belonging. Creating these safe spaces includes the right to self-identify and be addressed by one's chosen names and pronouns.

In 75 countries worldwide, the green apron is a symbol of Starbucks that signals a warm welcome and expert coffee craft from the over 300,000 baristas who wear one daily. Earlier this year, Starbucks made pronoun pins available for all partners in Canada to wear on their green apron to further foster an inclusive environment in our stores that honours and respects all the identities of our partners.

This small but profoundly impactful addition to a partner's green apron celebrates the Pride our partners show in their stores daily. Through this, we are not only supporting our partners of the LGBTQIA2+ community to be their authentic selves at work, but we're also helping to reduce the stigma associated with gender pronouns. 

Pronoun pins for all partners strengthen the foundations we are building upon for a better future for our LGBTQIA2+ partners and community.

Steven (he/him), Co-Chair of the Starbucks Canada Pride Network

"We're giving partners an environment to be proud of and thrive in by simply empowering them to be who they are. With these pins, we can move quickly beyond an introduction and build strong relationships with others as our true selves," shares Starbucks Canada's Pride Network Co-Chair and a partner of over a decade, Steven (he/him). 

Toronto-based partner Blair (he/they) feels similarly about our push for more resonant inclusion. "Pronouns are incredibly important in my store. It's good that everyone is clear about their pronouns, so we can respect one another and make sure we're all seen and heard. We're all beautiful individuals, and we feel safe expressing our identities in our café, and that respect is mirrored with our customers!"

By understanding the importance of personal pronouns and normalizing the use of gender-inclusive language, we can all take the very important step toward respecting people's identities, accepting all people as they are and creating a sense of belonging where everyone is welcomed. Last year, Starbucks partnered with Interligne to share best practices for pronouns to help create a safer and more inclusive space for everyone, which have been supported by the company at large. This includes normalizing mentioning your own pronouns when you introduce yourself and indicating your pronouns in email signatures at work.

Starbucks is a long-standing supporter and ally of the LGBTQIA2+ community, affirming every way people may choose to identify. We believe that being proud of who we are—in and out of the workplace—extends beyond a few months in the year. Click here to learn more about how Starbucks is celebrating pride at home and around the world.

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