Gendered Language

In this Category you can find articles relating to the growing awareness of the importance of gender-neutral language when both speaking and writing.

Do your job advertisements discriminate against a particular sex, social gender, or gender identity, or not perpetuate gender? When we think of balancing the scales of gender equality in the workplace, we often overlook how the power of words in job ads, the gender biases we are unwittingly throwing out there, possibly turning away the very gender we are looking to attract.

The purpose of gender-neutral language is to avoid words that may be interpreted as biased, discriminatory, or demeaning by implying that one sex or social gender is the norm. In order to avoid gendered language, you can use gender-neutral terms. These are words that are not gender-specific and refer to people in general, with no reference to men and women or male and female. Here are some examples of gender-neutral pronouns; ‘chairman’ is replaced by ‘Chair’ or ‘chairperson’, ‘policeman’ or ‘policewoman’ by ‘police officer’, ‘stewardess’ by ‘flight attendant’.

The words we use may just be turning away that potential high-performing talent, and in doing so, perpetuating gender inequality. So, before you embark on your next recruit, consider the English language that is used in your workplace to describe the culture, is it gender-neutral language or gender inclusive language? The way in which work is carried out, the words used to describe the ideal employee, and even the company itself may be gender stereotyping.