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GEN BUS 360: Workplace Writing and Communication (Spring 2022)

Biased Language

Remember that it is almost never necessary to mention personal characteristics. As a rule, call people what they would like to be called, and offer your pronouns as a way of soliciting someone else’s, an increasingly common practice in workplaces of all kinds.

Problematic Examples

Appropriate Examples

We have just hired a disabled person, who will be Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

We have just hired a new Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

The new African-American CEO flew in from France this morning.

The new CEO flew in from France this morning.

All salesmen must attend this week’s meeting.

All sales staff must attend this week’s meeting.

Every physician must complete his continuing education credits by the end of the fiscal year.

Physicians must complete their continuing education credits by the end of the fiscal year.

Most of us have used biased language in the past; the purpose is not to shame or blame but to prompt a practice of using language to include rather than exclude and to take an approach of ongoing learning and adaptation.

Content Credit

Content on this page was created by the Business Communication team at the Wisconsin School of Business.