SINCE the human language has existed, so have colloquialisms, terms of endearment and abbreviations.
Because as a species we were sometimes lazy and look for a shortcut.
This means terms such as guys, love, and honey, have been used to address and describe groups of people, men, and women. But now, one airline wants to ban the use of these words by staff as they exclude, patronize and gender-type people.
Oh, the irony: Forgotten clipboard forces plane to make emergency landing
Australian airline Qantas has requested staff stamp out “gender-inappropriate” terms that could cause offense to anyone who identifies as part of the LGBTIQ+ community.
Staff at the airline have been given a fully comprehensive guide as to what terms, phrases, and addresses they are and are not allowed to use.
The new document is part of the companywide “Spirit of Inclusion” initiative to make sure all staff and customers feel valued and included in the Qantas ethos.
Our new #QantasSafetyVideo has landed. Meet the Aussies sharing the spirit of @Australia in stunning destinations across the globe. pic.twitter.com/pe6bzD0Zvl
— Qantas (@Qantas) February 2, 2018
The booklet states, “Language can make groups of people feel invisible. For example, the use of the term ‘Chairman’ can reinforce the idea that leaders are always man.”
The booklet, which was issued by Lesley Grant executive of Qantas’s People and Culture group, also bans the use of the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ and insist on staff using partner or spouse instead.
In addition, ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ have also been swapped in favor of ‘parents’, to ensure LGBTIQ+ families are included.
Perhaps one of the most progressive reformations in Qantas’s policy is that “Manterruptions”, which is the act of men interrupting women, usually to speak over them or explain something that doesn’t need explaining; has been entirely prohibited.
Beyond everyday terminology, Qantas also aims to “recognize reality” and urges its staff to explain the European colonization of Australia in the 18th century as an invasion or occupation, rather than settlement.
This is to ensure the views of indigenous Australian people are recognized, rather than glossing over a brutal history by using the wrong terminology.
‘We want Qantas to be an inclusive workplace and we shared some factsheets created by the Diversity Council of Australia with some suggestions on more inclusive language,” a Qantas spokeswoman told The New Daily.
Often, issues involving the LGBTIQ+ community are skirted around in Asia and treated as the elephant in the room – there but not spoken about.
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While diversity in the workplace is becoming more a prominent factor for businesses, full inclusion and equal rights of all employees still very much remains to be seen.
However, Qantas’s “Spirit of Inclusion” is a step in the right direction for inclusivity and sets an example for other Asian Pacific companies when it comes to recognizing minorities amongst customers and employees alike.
On your next Qantas flight, you can look forward to being recognized as a human, as opposed to someone’s wife or husband, or just simply another number.
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