When Kleenex (after 62 years!) scrapped its “Mansize” Kleenex tissues (see the below tweet that helped spark the social movement for Kleenex to change), it got me thinking about what else might need to get gender-neutralized.
Hi @Kleenex_UK. My 4yo son asked me what was written here. Then he asked, why are they called mansize? Can girls, boys & mummies use them? I said: I don’t know & yes of course. He suggests you should call them “very large tissues”. It is 2018 pic.twitter.com/SeOg32RsDV
— Lisa Hancox (@LisaMHancox) October 10, 2018
Afterall, you’ve already got gender-neutralization hitting such key topics as:
- Job titles (see the top 25 job titles that use the word “man”).
- Boards of directors (see California state law mandates female board directors) .
- Job descriptions (see tools such as Text Analyzer and Textio).
What’s next? What about company names themselves?
Here’s just a handful of major businesses with masculine-oriented names:
- ManpowerGroup — The $22 billion staffing company.
- Five Guys — The burger and fries chain has grown to 1,500 stores since 1986.
- Two Men and a Truck — Moving company with 250 locations.
- Pizza Guys — In 65 stores across 3 states.
- The Good Guys — Discount warehouses in Australia and New Zealand.
- The Termite Guy — A leading termite control service.
I’m not saying any of these companies is biased against women. Manpower, for instance has women representing 42% of their board of directors (they also have many other diversity initiatives).
I’m just pointing out that they have a masculine-oriented name.
What I’m pondering is:
“Can a major company with a masculine name exist 10, 20, 50 years from now?”
Will the best female candidates apply to companies with “man” and “men” and “guys” in their company name?
Kleenex, by the way, changed their “Kleenex Mansize” product name to “Kleenex Extra Large”. Kleenex (owned by Kimberly Clark), doesn’t mess around when it comes to branding.
What if Manpower gets caught in a twitterstorm over their Man-centric name? Will they gender-neutralize their name (“PeoplePower” perhaps?).
Can you think of any other MAN-centric company names?
Can you think of other masculine-sounding company names that are ripe for change? Or do you think all of the companies above will still use their same names 10, 20, 50 years from now?
Why I wrote this?
Ongig’s job description software helps attract top-tier and diverse talent. I love exchanging in healthy dialogue about diversity and hiring.