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inclusivity in business

It’s Time to Adopt Gender Neutral Language in Business

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On January 6, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to adopt gender-neutral language in the official House rules and established a permanent Office of Diversity and Inclusion. From the article in Advocate:

The changes mean that the rules document will use language such as “parent,” “child,” and “sibling” instead of “mother,” “father,” “son,” daughter,” “brother,” and “sister.” It will also replace “chairman” with “chair,” “seamen” with “seafarers,” and “himself” and “herself” with “themself.”

It’s a small but significant move toward inclusion, recognizing both that nonbinary people do not use gender-specific language and that gender has no relevance in official government documents and proceedings. (These changes are for rules documents only: they do not prevent members of the House from using gender-specific language in other communication.)

Corporate communications should immediately begin to adopt these practices as well, setting the tone for individual businesses to support gender expansive team members as well as remove the burden of gender from hiring practices, promotions, assignments, and yes, pay. If removing gender from business communications is how we get to equal rights in the workplace, then let’s begin today.