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How to answer a "dear gentlemen" e-mail when you're not a gentleman

In your career you might receive an e-mail that has the “gentlemen” headline. I have received this type of e-mail in the form of “gentlemen” and “hello sir” countless times.. Although some might not think this is a big deal, others argue that it is a big deal and should be corrected. So we asked the community for help. How do you reply to a “dear gentleman e-mail? We received a variety of answers that are summarized below.


IronRingGirls community results


So what should YOU do when you receive this e-mail?

Based on the community survey, how you choose to reply will depend on the context. How well do you know the sender? What type of relationship do you have with them? How well do they know you? In general, it was mentioned to not be passive aggressive and to keep it professional. Here are some options to help you decide which reply you’re more comfortable with.


<copy paste> below options for your next e-mail

Option 1: Reply all with an inclusive greeting

Hello everyone,

Moving forward can we use more inclusive language.


Option 2: Reply only to the sender and correct them politely

Hi [insert name],

Hope you're doing well. A friendly reminder there are women on the e-mail list too!

All the best,

[insert your name]

Option 3: Reply with humour

*You always have to be careful with sarcastic humour and make sure you have that type of relationship with others that would appreciate the humour!

Here's some examples of responses we got from the community:

Option 4: Have your pronouns in your signature

For example mine would be:

Mina Dezyanian, P.Eng (she/her)

Option 5: Ignore

Remember, you don't have to do what you're not comfortable with. If you're shy but feel like it's important to speak up, ask someone else on the team to have the conversation.

At the end of the day, you choose how to handle a situation based on your comfort level. It's helpful to see how others handle these things sometimes. Hope this helps!


Is there anything you'd like us to ask the community that would help with your career?



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