Language matters at Evoluted
Evoluted is a place where we want everyone to comfortably be themselves whilst also being respectful and welcoming to others.
We want to be, and be known, as an excellent business to work for.
To achieve this we are always working on ways to improve, and this month we’ve taken the opportunity to make a positive difference and level up our language.
The words we choose set the tone and standard for all our interactions.
For this initiative we’re focusing on improving our use of gender inclusive language.
3 week challenge
We’ve set our team a 3 week challenge to become more aware of the language they use at work, to see how gender inclusive it is and to try out some alternative words and phrases that work better.
“Ladies and Gentlemen” is a traditional, formal greeting to a group of people, but it leaves out those whose gender is not binary. It could easily be replaced with “Everyone” without changing the formality or politeness.
Each week we’re going to look at the use of 8 key terms on our slack channels and will find out if their use changes over the course of the campaign.
Chart shows use of % use of certain terms on slack during 22nd to 28th November (the week prior to starting the campaign)
- Guys: 16.2%
- Gals: 0%
- Everybody: 8.1%
- Everyone: 56.8%
- Y’all: 2.7%
- Folks: 2.7%
- Peeps: 2.7%
- Mates: 10.8%
From the stats we can see that the terms “Everyone” and “Guys” are the most used, with “Mates” rounding out the top three.
We’re aware that “Guys” is not a controversial term with some strong fans, and equally strong opponents.
We’d like to see it phased out of popularity and replaced by more gender inclusive alternatives, but it’s something that is going to take practice.
Small steps for change
Change isn’t easy, but that’s not a reason to avoid starting.
Taking small steps together, and acknowledging that we’re all learning means that our team members can try out and discover new wording that is authentic and comfortable to them.
Like any change or growth this requires iteration - a key part of Agile work practices. To make change, and to see mistakes not as failure, but an expected part of a learning experience.
We’re using data we record during the campaign to gain insights into ourselves, and at the end of the 3 weeks our team will be completing an anonymous survey to find out what they’ve learned about themselves, and if the campaign has changed them in any way.
We plan to share the results of this campaign with you.
Change for the better can be exciting!
We’re really keen to see what we learn out of this experience, and to find out if it makes us a better company to work with.