Email Communication

Page Summary

  • Try to use gender-neutral greetings when addressing someone whose gender you do not know, or a group of people.

Your emails should address your recipients with care and respect, and one of the ways to do this is by using inclusive language principles. Being aware of some simple principles when composing emails will help you show respect towards the people you communicate with, and will help your message connect with your recipients, without anyone feeling left out.  Try using the following suggestions when addressing your emails.

   Avoid This      Instead Try

Dear “Sir/Madam”


Dear “first name” “last name”



   Avoid This      Instead Try

Dear Mrs. or Miss, as they denote the marital status of women.


Dear Sir/Madam, Mr./Ms., Professor/Dr.

   Avoid This      Instead Try

Dear ladies and gentlemen.


Dear Committee members

Dear Colleagues

Dear Attendees

Dear Guests

Dear Professors/Students

Regarding Pronouns in Email Signatures:

Some people use pronouns other than “he” or “she”. It has become more common (but not obligatory) to specify your preferred pronouns in your email signature by adding one of the following statements to your signature:

  • My pronoun is “she/her”.
  • Name [pronoun she/her].