Lawyer Monthly - November 2022

gender-inclusive language. These include improving clarity, removing ambiguity and being more reflective of a society that is less likely to conform to traditional gender binaries. In terms of the former, if a contract is using the male gender as the ‘default’, then it is clarity that is going to suffer – how are you meant to tell whether a particular section is addressing men or men and women together, for example? If gender-neutral terms are employed, then it immediately creates accuracy with meaning, and gendered terms can be applied as and when necessary for specific examples. The latter reflects that the binary use of gender is fast becoming outdated and out-of-touch with society. It is fluid, and gender-neutral language creates a platform to ensure inclusive, respectful and antidiscriminatory standards are embraced. How to Use Gender Neutral Language So, what is the best process of implementing gender-neutral language into workplaces? Of course the starting point is to incorporate the use gender-neutral language as much as possible, whether that be in contracts, document drafting or generally inclusive communication throughout your company. It can, quite simply, be boiled down into two simple steps: - Avoiding gender-specific pronouns (e.g. he/him/she/her; and - Avoiding gendered nouns (e.g. chairman, actress) Here is a list of some of the gendered words to avoid and that were used for the data analysis: ‘chairman’, ‘gentleman’, As we head into 2023, genderneutral language should not just be a niceto-have, but an absolute must-have. 38 LAWYERMONTHLYNOVEMBER 2022

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