Did you notice that? I would usually have said “Hey guys!”, but not today *no pun intended*. I got to read a recent report and thought to share this with you. The weekend is upon us! What have you been saying at work? What words have you been making use of ? How many times did you say “hey guys” to your team members this week? Countless times right? I thought so too. Don’t fret, we are all in this together I suppose.
Our choice of words is really important, especially in the workplace. You want to ensure that you don’t offend anyone at work, even if it’s unintentional. So many organizations draft out policies to ensure that certain conducts in the workplace are enforced. Our choice of words is one of such many policies. I was in fact surprised when I realized that one of my many choices of words may come off as offensive to some people (maybe guys in this case). Hmmm. Left me pondering.
Maybe we should debate this right? What do you think? Do you feel the use of “hey guys!” at work may come off as rude or offensive to a group of mixed-gender colleagues?
Personally, I say that about a thousand times haha. I am a lady, and personally, I don’t find it offensive if I am referred to in such manner. But that is me.
Yet again, diversity and inclusion…… diversity and inclusion. It encompasses a wide variety of factors and I have come to learn and appreciate that over time.
Australian of the year David Morrison, who has long fought for gender equality, on the 1st of June, 2016 stated that “hey guys” shouldn’t be used anymore in the workplace as it comes off as being offensive. The retired Lieutenant General partnered with the Diversity Council of Australia (“DCA”) to launch a campaign; #WordsAtWork.
According to him,
“Research has told us for years how language cuts people out or cuts them down, and yet it still happens…..when it comes to words at work, we’ve all got to walk the talk.”
The DCA believes “guys” is a gendered word that can make women feel left out.
The DCA’s CEO, Lisa Annese stated;
“We’re not telling people what to say, we’re encouraging people to think about the words they use at work so everyone feels respected, valued and included. We know from research that when more inclusive language is used at work, people are greater engaged and more proactive.”
So a few ways to curtail this will be to make use of gender-neutral words. After all, some other lady may not be as carefree to the term as I am. Like I said, I am not perturbed to the term personally but some other woman at work may feel discriminated, or let’s say excluded. So how about we try to make everyone feel good at work?
Here are few suggestions or alternatives
- Hi team
- Hi everyone
- Mention name(s)
- Properly address emails and or messages
- Maybe be sure there is no lady in the team/ group *lol*
There was some sort of debate on the issue on Daily Dilemma, you can watch it HERE. You may also watch the general videos and news on the campaign HERE. Maybe I shouldn’t use these words when referring to a mixed gender group. Okay, now I am a bit confused!
What do you think about the term? Depending on your place of residence or country, do you think saying “hey guys” at work is offensive? Please feel free to make comments and let us learn from each other.
Have a great relaxing weekend!