Inclusive language means choosing your words deliberately in order to acknowledge the various identities, backgrounds, and experiences of all people. In the workplace, inclusive language sets the tone for better teamwork and productivity by signaling that you respect your coworkers, employees, clients, consumers, and more.
Here are just a few non-inclusive language examples that are common in the manufacturing sector, and suggestions for more inclusive replacements.
Since the manufacturing workforce is still predominantly male, many non-inclusive language habits at manufacturing companies use male-centric terminology. Over time, these terms lead women and others to believe they may be unwelcome or uninvited to take part in company culture and activities. A few examples are the terms “manpower,” “man hours,” “mankind,” “tradesman,” and “foreman.” Instead, use terms like “humanpower,” “labor hours,” “humankind,” “skilled professional,” and “supervisor.”
Never use racial, ethnic, or religious identity descriptors as nouns. Instead, use them only as descriptive words, as in “our Hispanic workforce,” and “people who are LGBTQ+.” And remember that you really never need to mention someone’s identity descriptors (like race, gender, ethnicity, etc.) unless that information is truly relevant to the conversation. Usually, you can reference other traits instead, like the person’s name, occupation, hair color, office location, or more. For instance, “the woman who runs the warehouse on third shift” could be called “Jessica, the third-shift lead” instead, and “the young Black machinist” could simply be referred to as “Jonathan, the new machinist.”
Becoming more diverse and inclusive will help the manufacturing industry – and each individual organization within it – tap a wider talent pool of qualified workers to meet demands. Practicing inclusive language in the workplace is one step toward a more inclusive, equitable, and enjoyable work environment.
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Source: The Diversity Movement