Being “gender-inclusive” eliminates inaccurate clichés and negative stereotypes. It also improves communications, productivity, and equality.

Here are 6 gender-inclusive language examples you can use in daily conversations, job postings, emails, meetings, and more.

1. Humankind 

If your company’s mission is to “share a desire to improve mankind” or you create “innovative solutions that benefit mankind,” you might unknowingly offend or exclude people based on their gender identity.

Consider replacing “mankind” with “humankind” to be inclusive of all genders, including people who don’t identify as male or female.

“Humankind” is all-encompassing and refers to everyone. 

 

2. Latinx/Latine

You might hear the term “Latino” used when referring to people of Latin American ancestry. But, Latino refers to the male members, which eclipses the female version of “Latina.”

According to New York-based journalist Yessenia Funes, Spanish is a masculine-dominated language. For example:

“A group of women are Latinas, but as soon as a man joins them, the group becomes Latinos.”

source: Salon

Latinx (pronounced luh-TEE-nex) is a gender-inclusive term that helps resolve this issue. It refers to all members of the Latin American community.

“Latine”(pronounced luh-TEEN) is another commonly used gender-inclusive alternative.

 

3. Chair/Chairperson 

A “chairman” is a top decision-maker in an organization. But the role isn’t always filled by a man.

Some of the largest companies in the world — General Motors, Oracle, and Citigroup — have gender-diverse C-suites. 

So why not use the term “chairperson” since it’s considered more gender-inclusive?

Many companies (e.g., Ford & GM) have even trimmed the term “chairperson” to “chair,” making it a more concise (and gender-inclusive) title. 

 

4. Staff/Team

Some companies still refer to their employees as “manpower.” The term is outdated and insensitive since it doesn’t recognize the contributions of employees who don’t identify as “male.”

Try replacing “manpower” with “staff” or “team” to keep it simple and gender-inclusive. And, use “staff hours” or “team hours” instead of “man-hours.”

Regardless of gender identification, your team members commit their knowledge, skills, and resources toward advancing your company’s success.

 

5. Everyone

Many speakers and writers rely on clunky openers like “ladies and gentlemen” or “guys and gals,” which are masculine-coded.

When you’re speaking to a large group (written or verbal), using the word “everyone” addresses everybody in attendance — making it more gender-inclusive language.

 

6. Synthetic/Artificial/Machine-Made

If you’re in the manufacturing or construction sectors (or managing production), you might use the term “man-made” when working on a project.

Here are some gender-inclusive to use when describing these scenarios:

  • “synthetic”
  • “artificial”
  • “machine-made”

Instead of suggesting that only males can construct and compile new things, the alternative terms focus on the nature of the process. And, “synthetic” is a more technically accurate term since it refers to a substance (or product) created from chemical synthesis.  

 

Note: If you’re curious about other types of inclusive language (e.g. based on race, age, disability, etc.), The Inclusive Language List for Job Ads has 75 examples you might find useful.

Why I wrote this:

Ongig is on a mission to transform job descriptions. If you want to remove gender bias words from your JDs, please reach out about our job description software. We’re happy to show you how to replace gender-coded terms with more gender-Inclusive language.

 

Shout-outs:

  1. Yessenia Funes – Forget About “Latino” — why I’m all for “Latinx,” and you should be too.
  2. Ty Haqqi – 15 Biggest Companies with Female CEOs
  3. Michael Wayland – Ford and GM replace the ‘chairman’ title with gender-neutral ‘chair.’
  4. Feature image by Markus Winkler

by in Diversity and Inclusion

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