Student or Learner
"When an employee is eligible to join a company savings program, she gets a form saying she is enrolled. She doesn't have to do anything, but if she wants to opt out of the program, she has to sign a form."
The text above was extracted from a today's newspaper. It starts with "employee", but then the writer opts to use the pronoun "she", instead of "they" or "he", and sticks with it untill the end of the entire paragraph.
I have already noticed that "she" is the pronoun of choice in English when talking about a bird or a ship, for example.
I wonder if "she" is always considered more appropriate when the gender is undetermined or opting for this or that one is of little or no importance in English.
The article is about the behavior of people in general, who many times do not care about doing the right thing. It begins talking about people's lack of interest in saving electric energy. Then, it comments about the lack of interest of many employees in joining the company's retirement savings plan. A larger excerpt follows:
"Some companies have employee savings programs, and some offer to match a part of the employee's contribution – free money, in effect. 'Taking full advantage of the match should be a no-brainer for all,' the authors write, yet typically, 30 per cent or more don't join. Their solution - one that has been adopted by some firms in recent years - is automatic enrollment in corporate savings programs. When an employee is eligible to join a company savings program, she..."
As you can see, the subject is not relevant only to women, but to both genders.
Thanks for any help.
It sounds like a woman (or a pro-feminist man) who has arbitrarily adopted this convention ("she" instead of "he" for indeterminate gender) to redress the balance of history. The writer would probably call God "she" as well (because... why not?); come to think of it, s/he would probably talk about "redressing the balance of herstory.
This sort of sexual politics doesn't make life easy for language learners!
I know I've seen a lot of parenting magazines referring to children that alternate using "he" and "she" from one paragraph to the next to keep things balanced.