Have you ever heard of an inclusion writer? If you create written content of any kind, you may want to consider whether the words and language you choose to use is inclusive of all people.
When you intentionally assess how you write, the words you choose to use, whether any of your language includes any form of bias, and whether any words may be offensive or interpreted in a way that excludes certain people – you are able to write more inclusively.
Written content can be a powerful way to influence the way we think about the world, and act. Having awareness about the need to be inclusive when writing, can bring with it many benefits and can help make you a more inclusive writer.
Companies making blogs, social media posts, or website content need to think about being inclusive. So, many organizations now have rules for writers to use language that’s aware and inclusive in all their communications.
Sometimes, writers don’t realize they have biases or that certain words they use can make some people feel left out or discriminated against.
Below we look in more detail at what an inclusive writer is, and how to transform your writing to be more inclusive – plus the many benefits that inclusion writing can bring for organizations.
What is an inclusion writer and why is inclusivity so important?
If you’re searching for the meaning of ‘inclusion writer’, you might not find a simple answer. It’s a big topic with lots of parts. And being an inclusive writer also covers many aspects.
Inclusive writing is about intentionally creating content in a way that is meant to include rather than exclude people.
It’s also about taking a closer look at language that’s used, to check that it’s not offensive. Also, ensure that it doesn’t stereotype people and that it doesn’t include any intentional or unconscious bias.
It means changing how you think as a writer. So, instead of focusing only on your own experiences, be aware that everyone is different. We all see the world in our own way, so be open and inclusive to everyone.
When you write, it’s crucial to use words that include everyone. It shows you understand and respect differences between people. So, using inclusive language is powerful. It helps you connect with readers and it also gets more support from them.
And if you’re writing online content, then it can also help to ensure that your content performs better in terms of SEO as articles with outdated and offensive language will typically rank lower on search engine results.
Many organizations are mindful of the need to intentionally create a culture of inclusivity and are creating diversity statements and employing diversity recruiting to ensure their companies and staff are able to thrive.
3 tools and tips for writing more inclusive content
There are various tips and tools that can help writers incorporate more inclusive and bias-free language into their content. These are relevant when writing about issues such as age, abilities, gender, race, sexual orientation, and financial status.
1. Consciously maintain awareness and sensitivity to people’s differences
The words you choose to use as a writer really do matter. They carry weight. Your words influence perceptions. They can be used to both include, respect and honor people – or to exclude, alienate, disrespect and aggrieve people.
We have all had different life experiences and different upbringings. There are many things that set us all apart and we need to recognize that and be aware of these differences when we write.
To be an inclusive writer, it’s crucial to notice these differences and be very aware of them. This helps us understand and appreciate the unique qualities that make each person special.
There are many resources online to become more informed on this topic. And it’s also important to take the time to really understand what it means to be an inclusive writer.
Some general tips include embracing singular language such as “they” or “theirs” rather than referring to “she” or “he/she”. Avoid generalizing and stereotyping people and assuming that you know what certain groups of people are like, or what they like or think.
It’s also best to avoid judging people, and to instead use empathy and understanding when writing about anyone.
2. Using a tool like Ongig helps eliminate racial and gender bias from job descriptions
When hiring employees, using inclusive language in job descriptions can lead to more applications. This can also help you attract the best candidates globally.
In job descriptions, some words might unintentionally exclude people due to unconscious bias. Just by adopting gender-neutral language in your job descriptions, you can boost application rates and save on advertising costs. In fact, just by removing male/female-coded words in job descriptions, you can actually boost applications by 29 percent and lower your cost per application by 41 percent.
When you are aware of bias and the importance of being inclusive, you’ll pay more attention to your JDs to find and remove words that might be biased, exclusive, or offensive.
Ongig helps organizations to eliminate boring and biased job descriptions. Our Text Analyzer software gets rid of gender and racial bias in job postings and optimizes your text to enhance application rates.
3. Recognize your own conscious and unconscious bias
Writers should avoid thinking and assuming that everyone who will read their work is the same as them. people are different. So, they won’t think the same or feel the same way. Also, everyone has not had the same life experiences and will agree with their opinions.
When we start to take note of how we are all unique and different, it becomes more apparent that we may each carry with us some conscious and unconscious bias.
Being aware of our biases is the first step to becoming an inclusive writer. It takes having others read our work before publishing and considering different points of view when looking into topics.
And it requires us to strive to be respectful of others, accepting of our differences, and dedicated to honoring and promoting individuality. As a writer, it helps to be precise. So, choose words very intentionally and look into the meanings and history of where certain words came from. Also, you must think about how different people see them.
Words that were okay in the past might be very offensive now and could get you in trouble as a writer.
Final thoughts on what it takes to be an inclusion writer
If you’ve been wondering, “what is an inclusion writer?”, then, hopefully, now you know. Any writer can choose to make their writing inclusive. Organizations also realize the importance of content that makes everyone feel included, respected, and welcome in their communities.
Writers can use various tips and tools to make their writing inclusive. But it requires effort because we all have biases, whether we realize it or not, that can show up in our writing.
This is a guest post from Andy Stofferis. Andy is an experienced digital nomad. He has been working from abroad for the last 8 years. Andy runs a blog about digital nomadism and remote work: www.andysto.com. This is where he shares his tips and techniques with remote company leaders, remote workers, and digital nomads.