Hi. My name is Chandler and I’m a girl.
This last week I started my new job (yay!) and it has been so great! I get less phone calls, its not as demanding or stressful, and I get my own cute little office. My job consists of setting up training for all the new employees so most of it is done via email. In the last week I have had 4 circumstances where I was referred to as a boy; which is totally understandable because how would they know in an e-mail that I am a girl? Doesn’t make it any less annoying though.
For example, I sent an email out asking this new hire to call me when he had a moment to go over his schedule and when he called me the conversation went like this:
“Flight training this is Chandler.”
-“Yes hi may I speak with Chandler?”
Umm what? “Yeah this is Chandler.”
-“OH! (pause) I am sorry I don’t mean to be rude but I was expecting a mans voice!”
Thankfully I have a sense of humor and have been dealing with this my whole life to just nicely correct them and then move on. But with my new job and mostly working via email how do I indicate that I am a woman? I got an email yesterday and it was addressed “Sir”. Like how fancy am I! Except it should say Madame. I spent a solid 5 minutes trying to come up with a way to respond to the e-mail and eventually gave up.
How do you write a professional e-mail and sound like a woman? I can’t end it “Love, Chandler” or write super flowery because the content is so formal and specific. And I don’t like “Mrs. Chandler Larsen” because I am not a 60 year old lady and don’t want to be referred to as “Mrs. Larsen”. I also can’t say in small letters at the bottom “PS I am a 23 year old woman!”
Growing up I remember hanging out with my friends and one will get a text from their mom or a different friend and the conversation went similair to this:
“What are you doing?”
-“Oh just hanging out with Chandler.”
“Nice! Is he cute?”
Every time. There are some pros to having a gender neutral name though! I love the name Chandler (even if my 8 year old self hated it) and this it is a great name for a boy or a girl. I don’t get gender bias as much when I turn in applications. And so far some of the men I worked with in my last position (all phone based work) who were passive aggressive and rude seem to treat me with more respect now because they think I’m a guy. Figure that out. It is a sad truth but we still live in a society where gender equality isn’t equal; but we are getting there!
Anyways, if anyone has any suggestions on how I can make my e-mails come of “girly” that would be great because I think this is going to be a continuous problem if I don’t think of something haha.

0 thoughts on “The struggles of having a gender neutral name”

  1. I love gender neutral (or even boys names) for girls.

    We have a friend (girl) who's name is Charlie. She's this petite, beautiful little thing so it absolutely suits her and she rocks it.

    as for your email situation… maybe instead of sigining Mrs, stick with the more generic “Ms.” so you don't sound a million? (I totally respect that saying “Mrs” makes you sound older for emails)

  2. This probably would only work if you use gmail for work, but it allows you to upload a photo. Maybe if you could do something like that people would look at it and realize what a lady you are 😉

  3. I like both Laura's and Rebekah's suggestions.

    If you're not using gmail, is there any way to incorporate your photo into your email signature, especially seeing as how you're a trainer? People need to know what the trainer looks like, particularly if you deliver face to face training.
    If that's not allowed, perhaps try and put Ms in your signature.

    You might have to run both of these past higher ups because of the desire for email signature consistency across the board, but it can't hurt to ask.

  4. Well I'm not a trainer I just set up their training classes so they will never meet me haha We use Outlook so I am not sure how to upload a picture but that seems like a good idea. Also since I am married using Ms wouldn't be correct. I might just have to keep everyone guessing haha

  5. Isn't Ms used if you are single? I always thought you used Ms until you got married you became a Mrs and since I'm married I probably shouldn't say I'm single haha but I like that idea!

  6. I've always loved your name! However, I can completely understand the struggle. #strugglebus hahahaha.Maybe you can create an email signature with your handwriting and hopefully they see that and realize that you're a girl?

  7. I love your name! I always wanted to have a girl and name her Chandler. Problem is my husband and I grew up watching Friends and now he thinks the show made the name a no-go for a boy or girl.

    Also, I feel your pain. I'm Alexandra however now matter how much I introduce myself as Alexandra, I am called Alex. And then confusion always happens. And my husband is Cory. I lost count of how many people meet us and then call him Alex and me Cory.