Inclusive language and behaviours

Tech NationTech Nation 2 min read

Inclusive language is transformative for how employees feel at work. Using inclusive language creates an environment where ideas can flourish and thrive, and where different viewpoints are invited because everyone feels that they are valued and can be themselves. Some examples of using non-inclusive language include using gendered words or slang when communicating with colleagues and employees, making people feel excluded or possibly causing them offence. 

Creating an Inclusive behaviours checklist

  • Use inclusive language: You should make an effort to use inclusive language, for example use non-gendered language in your employment contracts and policies and procedures. Monzo has gone as far as added inclusivity into their tone of voice guidelines.
  • Pay attention to who is attending your meetings and who is doing the bulk of the talking: Think about ways that you can invite everyone to input into the conversation, such as 1:1 chats or email chains for people who feel less comfortable talking in groups. Also, unless it is a nominated notetaker who is not expected to contribute to the meeting, ensure that notes are taken by different people to allow everyone to have a say.
  • Start new projects with a bias-check and identify ways to overcome these biases: For example, you could focus on bias-busting during brainstorms and bringing in alternative voices if needed. Ahead of the meeting, you could ask people what biases they might be holding and then address these anonymously at the beginning of the session to ensure they have been voiced and can be addressed as a team.
  • Invite guest speakers to team events: You may not have the budget to expand your team, but there are still opportunities to encourage diverse ways of thinking via organising guest speakers to deliver in-person or virtual talks for your team. At Tech Nation, we have expanded our guest speaker database to include people from all backgrounds and experiences, who bring fresh perspectives to our panel discussions and push us to rethink our assumptions and question our biases. 

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