French companies are tackling the issue of gender

In recent weeks, the 100,000 Nokia employees around the world can, if they wish, indicate their pronouns in their e-mail signature. Now frequent on social networks, the registration of these “Preferred pronouns” (“Preferred pronouns”) allows everyone to indicate which pronouns reflect their gender identity. It has become a means of promoting the inclusion of transgender people.

“It’s very simple and very symbolic, for example under my signature I wrote “She / her”, explains Florence Dossogne, chief of staff to the president of Nokia France. Promoting this initiative is not completely easy, however. A small minority react badly and leave very negative comments on the company’s internal social network. “ These vehement reactions, signed for the most part “By employees installed outside France”, especially in Poland, denounce the company’s support for “An ideology”.

In spite of resistance, large groups are in fact starting to take up the gender issue in France, going further and faster than a large part of public opinion. This development takes place internally, with their employees, but also at the address of their customers. This year, the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (Idahot), celebrated every May 17, was an opportunity for several companies to speak directly to the transgender community.

“Real identity”

Like BNP Paribas. “For people in transition, we know how violent it is to have means of payment that do not correspond to their real identity, declared during a conference Antoine Sire, the director of the corporate engagement of the group. On all our bank cards, it is possible to remove their title and choose the first name that must appear on it. “

The American payment giant Mastercard also announced, during the Idahot, that some of its transgender and non-binary customers (people who do not feel that they are strictly male or strictly female, but in between, a mixture of the two, or neither of them) will now be able to have their chosen first name written on their cards. This functionality (“True name”) is being offered in France and in Europe to customers of Bunq, a Dutch neobank. “Associations explained to us that the name on the bank card could generate embarrassment, stress, even situations of violence for transgender or non-binary people. However, the card is not an identity document, nothing prohibits changing the first name and the gender which appears on it ”, says Geoffrey Seghetti, Marketing Director Western Europe at Mastercard, and co-head of the Pride Europe network.

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