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Workplace messaging platform Slack is rolling out new options to help team members pronounce each others' names accurately. The app has added two fields to member profiles: one lets users spell out their name phonetically, while the other allows them to upload an audio recording of the exact pronunciation.
Support for name pronunciation follows last year's addition of gender pronoun fields — both are part of a broader move within the company to make its product more inclusive. As Slack points out, "pronouncing someone's name correctly is an important way to make someone feel respected, valued and seen."
Routine mispronunciation primarily happens to people whose names aren't commonplace in their organization's dominant culture. It might seem trivial, but stumbling over someone's name contributes to othering them. A name is an integral part of someone's identity, often linked to their family, culture and heritage.
Every team member should feel like they belong, and that starts by getting their name right. Beyond Slack, organizations can add phonetic spelling to other profiles and email signatures, too. Need help? As part of their #MyNameIs campaign, Race Equality Matters created a digital tool that helps people share their real names by translating them to phonetics.
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