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More than just a name #MyNameIs

More than just a name #MyNameIs

We are proud to be supporting the #MyNameIs campaign by Race Equality Matters, which aims to address the mispronunciation of names in the workplace.

The campaign highlights the importance of a name and encourages the adoption of phonetic name spelling on email signatures, online meetings and in person.

Poonam Naginlal, Vice Chair of the BAME Network and Recruitment Consultant, said: “When we talk about being inclusive, a great way to start is by getting people’s name’s right.

“Our name is more than just a name, and everyone deserves to have their name pronounced correctly. It’s part of your heritage, identity, and pride. But names are often mispronounced or shortened without consent, regardless of the reason, it’s hurtful to those affected.”

Watch our short video featuring some of our staff sharing the phonetic spelling of their name:

Race Equality Matters polled 100 individuals and found that almost three quarters (73%) had their names mispronounced, and 88% believed that a phonetic spelling of their name would help.

Respondents said that having their names mispronounced led them to feel 'not valued or important', 'disrespected' and 'that they didn't belong.

There is a handy tool on the Race Equality Matters website which shows your phonetic name  #MyNameIs - Race Equality Matters

How to get it right

There is nothing wrong with getting the pronunciation or spelling wrong if you are unfamiliar with a name. However, if you want to be part of the change here are 7 steps.

  1. Ask the person to pronounce it - and actively listen. Rather than try to say a name you are unfamiliar with, ask the person how to pronounce it.
  1. Don't make it a big deal. Once you have heard the correct pronunciation, thank them and move on. Don’t focus on how unfamiliar you are with their name.
  1. Observe and practice. Make an effort to hear how someone pronounces their name to other people, even if you have heard it before. Check if you are introducing them in a public forum and practice.
  1. Clarify again. If you meet someone again after a while it’s fine to check how you should pronounce their name. Do something when you realise you’ve been mispronouncing it. Apologize when you get it wrong, as soon as you realise. Be an
  2. Don’t be arrogant or flip. If you hear someone mispronouncing a colleague's name, when they are not around, step in and correct them gently.

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