Practice using inclusive language daily

After reading “The Inclusive Language Handbook” by Jackie Ferguson and Roxanne Bellamy, I was thoroughly embarrassed. I was reminded of all the non-inclusive words that I’ve been wrongly using for years at work and at home. They included sexist language, totally dumb terms and words that I should never have used.

This short book is filled with examples, exercises and quizzes to make us more aware of using language that includes everyone. According to the authors, “Inclusive language is the daily practice of communicating intentionally unbiased words that acknowledge diversity, convey respect, and support an environment of equitable opportunity.” They stress “daily practice” as using inclusive language can have a positive effect on culture and human relationships.

I never paused to think that humankind is more inclusive than mankind, human-made is better than man-made and it’s better addressing folks as friends, colleagues, team etc. than saying “you guys.” I didn’t know that a more inclusive term for wheelchair bound was “person who uses a wheel chair” and it’s better addressing a person as having a learning disability than saying that the person was a slow learner. The book also provides specific guidance regarding inclusive language use across different sectors like healthcare and retail.

This is a treasure for anyone wanting to use more inclusive language to enhance communication and collaboration.

75% of us trust our employers more than politicians

Richard Edelman, President & CEO

Three in four people worldwide believe that their employers will do what’s right compared to politicians, nonprofits and general businesses. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer released yesterday says 75% of people worldwide have a greater affinity to their employers and trust them more to impact societal change.

The survey of 33,000 people across 27 markets worldwide has never seen such a spike in trust for employers. This is a great opportunity for human resources and corporate social responsibility analysts at companies to strengthen ties with their employees and empower them so that it will lead to greater productivity, retention and overall employee wellness.

Richard Edelman, CEO, in his executive summary adds that 66% people worldwide now trust their traditional media showing tremendous growth. However, trust in social media has fallen to 43% and this is a wake up call for Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter to analyze their business models.

When trust falls, everything falls and no matter what algorithm you use, people came before algorithms were invented.

The loss of trust in political systems has led to the creation of more nationalistic tendencies worldwide and the growth of more tribes in both developing and developed economies. Despite economic growth, people have a gloomy outlook about their futures and fears of job loss remain high.

CEOs now have a moral responsibility to speak out on issues impacting society. People have also started trusting company-owned media more and this gives an opportunity for internal communication folks to develop solid, unbiased news rooms for their staff. Employers have tremendous opportunities to bring change locally and there is no better time for leaders to roll up their sleeves, understand employee sentiment and do good for society.

Move over politicians, people don’t trust any of you anymore.