A new feature on LinkedIn is giving professionals the option to express their pronouns.
In a recent update, LinkedIn, the social media platform focused on professional networking and connections, released several new features. This update included a new creator mode where users can add hashtags, cover stories to fill profiles with personality, improves the platform’s live broadcasting, and adds the before-mentioned addition of pronouns, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Starting March 31, users in five countries (the U.S., Britain, Sweden, Canada, and Ireland) can update their profiles to include a predefined list of pronouns such as he/him, she/her, and they/them. But don’t worry, non-binary users or users who don’t fit those three options can also create their own custom pronouns in the free form field. As for safety concerns, users can limit who sees pronouns to first-degree connections.
This new update to the LinkedIn platform was created in an effort to be “more inclusive for every member of the global workforce,” according to a press release.
“Clearly members want to feel empowered about how they self-identify,” said Bef Ayenew, who’s the head of engineering for identity and profile at LinkedIn, to Reuters. “We’ve already seen them ‘hacking’ their names and adding their gender pronouns because the feature itself was not available, so there is clearly an express need to do this within our member base.”
One suspected reason for LinkedIn’s changes and emphasis on personality is the fact that content creators are started to populate the site. According to Adweek, LinkedIn has experienced a 21% jump in members listing skills and responsibilities instead of qualifications. In addition, 67% of hirers and recruiters have made skills and competence the focus of job descriptions posted to the network. Plus, 755 of hiring managers and 67% of job seekers believe that standard resumes are no longer cutting it for evaluating soft skills. This “pronounced increase” and shift in how users use LinkedIn has led to a shift in the platform itself.
“LinkedIn has had user-generated content since 2012,” said LinkedIn group product manager for creator strategy Karen Baruch to Adweek. “As the professional world has changed, we’re seeing more people creating engaging content, and engagement with that content growing rapidly. Given how important this is, we are doubling down on making sure that creators have what they need to build a following and be successful on LinkedIn.”