Gender Neutral Language

Are you seeking a position with an organization with a gender neutral language policy?  Perhaps in your industry, gender neutral policies are common.  In some industries or settings, female or male-specific terms could be perceived as exclusionary, discriminatory, or objectionable.  If this is the case in your targeted industry, it is wise for your job search communication, including your résumé and cover letter, to be gender neutral.

For example, “Mrs.” and “Miss” may be seen as patronizing, so “Ms.” should be used instead.  Instead of “chairman,” “chair” or “chairperson” would be used.  “Cameraman” has been replaced with the term, “camera operator.”  Unless, you are referring to a particular person the pronoun, “he,” would be “he or she.” “She” would be referenced “she or he.”  A common term we see in résumés is “man hours” in phrases such as, “reduced man hours by 32%.”   An easy fix for that would be “labor hours” or “staff hours.”  The term, “middleman,” could be replaced with “liaison” or “agent.”    

These things may seem trivial and like anything, it can be taken to an extreme.  The point of this message is to remind you to attempt to be inclusive in your language when drafting job search documents.  Be aware of particular sensitivities in your field so you use preferred language

Tell me about your experience regarding the use of all-inclusive or gender neutral language.  Do you feel it helps create an open and comfortable work environment?   Would you feel less likely to interview someone if they used gender-specific terms, such as “manpower?”

For more reading on this topic, please click here: Gender Neutral Names on Resume

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Gender Neutral Language

Are you seeking a position with an organization with a gender neutral language policy?  Perhaps in your industry, gender neutral policies are common.  In some industries or settings, female or male-specific terms could be perceived as exclusionary, discriminatory, or objectionable.  If this is the case in your targeted industry, it is wise for your job search communication, including your résumé and cover letter, to be gender neutral.

For example, “Mrs.” and “Miss” may be seen as patronizing, so “Ms.” should be used instead.  Instead of “chairman,” “chair” or “chairperson” would be used.  “Cameraman” has been replaced with the term, “camera operator.”  Unless, you are referring to a particular person the pronoun, “he,” would be “he or she.” “She” would be referenced “she or he.”  A common term we see in résumés is “man hours” in phrases such as, “reduced man hours by 32%.”   An easy fix for that would be “labor hours” or “staff hours.”  The term, “middleman,” could be replaced with “liaison” or “agent.”    

These things may seem trivial and like anything, it can be taken to an extreme.  The point of this message is to remind you to attempt to be inclusive in your language when drafting job search documents.  Be aware of particular sensitivities in your field so you use preferred language

Tell me about your experience regarding the use of all-inclusive or gender neutral language.  Do you feel it helps create an open and comfortable work environment?   Would you feel less likely to interview someone if they used gender-specific terms, such as “manpower?”

For more reading on this topic, please click here: Gender Neutral Names on Resume

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