5 tips to embrace inclusive language and why it matters
At Stryker, we're passionate about fostering an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and heard. Inclusive language is one of the ways in which Stryker is committed to creating a workplace that shows appreciation for the diversity of every individual.
What is inclusive language?
Inclusive language is acknowledging that words have power and have an impact – both negative and positive. It avoids words and phrases that may contain biases, slang, and expressions that may directly reference, or imply, discrimination against certain groups of people. Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect and is sensitive to differences. It promotes equal opportunity and allows those using it to resonate with a wider audience by expressing themselves impartially.
By using language that embraces diversity, we create a culture where everyone can authentically be themselves. Inclusive language encourages empathy and compassion, enabling us to connect with one another on a deeper level. Furthermore, when we use inclusive language, we empower every team member to contribute their diverse ideas, resulting in a collaborative environment where individuals feel safe to share their thoughts, knowing their voices will be valued and respected.
5 Tips to Embrace Inclusive Language:
1. Educate yourself
Take the first step by educating yourself on inclusive language and its impact. There are plenty of valuable resources available, such as workshops and online guides, that can deepen your understanding.
2. Be gender inclusive
Address mixed-gender groups with gender-neutral terms like "everyone" or "team." Pay attention to preferred pronouns and use them respectfully to create a welcoming space for all.
3. Respect cultural sensitivities
Embrace diversity by being aware of cultural nuances and sensitivities in your language. Refrain from using culturally centered language that could be exclusive. Avoid stereotypes and assumptions and demonstrate respect for different perspectives.
4. Choose person-first language
When discussing characteristics or conditions, prioritize the person over the label. For instance, say "a person with a disability" instead of "a disabled person." When in doubt, ask an individual how they would prefer to be addressed when description is relevant.
5. Be the change
Whether you are a leader or team member, your language sets the tone for the workplace. Demonstrate a commitment to inclusive language, and others will follow suit, contributing to a more inclusive culture.
Inclusive language is a journey of growth and learning for everyone. By implementing these tips in your day-to-day interactions, you actively contribute to a workplace where diversity thrives, and every voice is valued.
At Stryker, we firmly believe in the transformative power of inclusive language. It's a powerful tool that creates a welcoming space for everyone to feel seen, heard and valued. As you embrace inclusive language in your daily communication, you contribute to building a stronger, more empathetic, and inclusive workplace.