Adopting inclusive language can help your business in more ways than one. There are both internal (amongst your own employees) and external (amongst customers and clients) benefits that can truly impact your business that are worth keeping in mind. Let’s examine some of the main benefits of inclusive language for your business.
Better Workplace Environment and Employee Engagement
While it’s easy to focus on how your customers and clients would react to the use of inclusive language in your business, you should first look at how this switch will be received internally.
Using gender inclusive language at work can be a strong step towards diminishing gender inequality both internally and externally. For example, using gender-neutral job titles in your job postings will make it easier for candidates of any gender to view themselves in the role. At the same time, you’ll be helping our society shift away from unconstructive gendered job titles.
Inclusive language will help attract a diverse pool of job candidates, and will help retain them as well. Both millennials and Gen Z workers tend to seek out companies that prioritize fairness and equality in the workplace. Using inclusive language is a subtle switch you can make to show your employees that you actually adhere to the values your company stands for.
Improved Customer Perception
Circling back to your customers and clients, you will find that using inclusive language can help you appeal to a more broad customer base and can help you make a good first impression when launching in new markets where gender inclusivity is a priority. Customers want to see that a brand is thinking about them and their needs. Using gender neutral language helps you relate better to those customers and makes them feel more included.
Of course, your commitment here can’t end with just inclusive language. Your commitment to inclusion and diversity should also be apparent in your hiring practices, product development, and marketing campaigns. On both a public facing and internal front, you need to be practicing what you preach in every area of your business. Using inclusive language is a good method to help further a mission of inclusion, but not the only one.
Enhanced Social Responsibility
As a business, you should aim to be an authoritative and responsible part of your community, no matter how big or small that community is. Inclusive language is something companies should take on as part of their social responsibility. This effort to be socially responsible may not have visible benefits right away, but it is an important part of running a business. Being socially responsible and living by your values will pay off in the end by helping attract a diverse workforce, making customers feel included, and making your business feel more approachable.
How to Incorporate Inclusive Language
When it comes time to start incorporating inclusive language into your business, you’ll need to work with your localization provider about how to proceed. The movement for gender inclusive language is rapidly evolving and varies by location, so you need input from in-country specialists to adapt properly. The discussion surrounding inclusive language is not at the same stage in every country and it’s an emotional topic that will elicit different reactions from different customers and employees. It’s important to collaborate with a localization expert who can help you navigate these sensitive waters.
Adding gender-inclusive language to your style guide is a great first step and these guidelines can provide your company with a road map toward inclusive language.