Okay. Hi, my name is camber. My pronouns. Are she her Hurst? I’m the director of client success at content journey, a content marketing agency that was founded by Lindsay Miller early last year, since joining Lindsay at content journey, I’ve grown even more aware of the importance of inclusive language and imagery in the work that we do.
The messages that we send through our content, whether we’ve built a page, published a blog, spoken on a podcast or shared something to social media shaped the way society, views a myriad of issues. Our talk today is on the importance of inclusivity and content creation, a short guide to practicing inclusion in our work and day to day interactions.
So diversity and inclusion. What is it? Diversity is the what and inclusion is the how diversity focuses on the makeup of your audience. Demographics, such as gender, race, and ethnicity, age sexual orientation, veteran status among many others. Inclusion is a measure of culture that enables diversity to thrive.
Inclusion requires that everybody’s contributions are valued. A sense of belonging is the heartbeat of inclusion. This is one of my favorite quotes from Miriam Lewis, head of diversity and inclusion at Clorox as creators within the web space, we have a responsibility to create and promote messages that include and resonate with people of all backgrounds by using language and imagery that is inclusive.
We can create messages and campaigns that actively dispel, preconceived notions, prejudice, or harmful stereotypes. From a business perspective, inclusive marketing gives you the chance to expand your clientele while deepen connections with existing clients. So what is inclusive language? Inclusive language is language that avoids the use of specific expressions or words that might be considered to exclude particular groups of people.
Inclusive language is generally use to include traditionally underrepresented or marginalized groups. These groups include, but are not limited to. Racial and ethnic minorities members of the LGBTQ plus community and people with disabilities implementing inclusive language and your content and marketing shows others that you are aware of the value that different people with different backgrounds, identities, and perspectives can lend.
Is it inclusive or politically correct? If you type the phrase political correctness and to Google, you would get millions, maybe billions of returns that have negative hot takes on inclusive language. Oftentimes, these authors are outraged that we’ve taken things too far and have gone completely over the top in our quest to include as many people as possible in the way that we speak and write while they would argue we’ve gone too far.
I would argue that we haven’t gone far enough. Inclusive language is about making a concerted effort to communicate in a way that embodies our values. When it comes to inclusive language, those values can be summed up with one word respect. By using inclusive language, you are correcting an imbalance in the way that we’ve used language for hundreds of years.
Implicit bias in your language. Implicit is an adjective and it means implied though. Not plainly expressed bias is a now prejudice. Which means in favor of, or against one thing, person or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair, it stands to reason then that implicit bias is a bias that we are unconscious of while we aren’t totally sure yet how to unbias ourselves.
One thing is clear. If we ensure that our content, regardless of how it is just to read it is free of stigmatizing language. We can change the way people perceive others. Implicit bias is a universal phenomenon and can derail your attempts at inclusion. If you’re curious about what implicit biases you hold, you can take an implicit bias test by visiting implicit.harvard.edu.
So, what are some ways to practice inclusive language? You can use person first language person. First language is a crucial element of using inclusive and de-stigmatizing language. It must be a priority when you’re speaking with two or about members of these communities, when referring to a person with a disability or disorder, you always place the person first.
Instead of saying blind person, you should say person who is visually impaired. Additionally person, first language applies to other situations as well. For example, when speaking with two or about the homeless community, you would say person who is homeless or unhoused, gender and sexual orientation, discriminating, or exclusionary language is easy to use after all.
It is literally baked into so much of our day-to-day language. We use he as a generic pronoun for all people, regardless of gender. We say things like ladies and gentlemen, boys, and girls. Mankind manpower, chairman of the board mailman police, man. Using gender specific language is mostly unnecessary in Western society.
Gender has been incorrectly categorized as a simple binary man or woman. Additionally sexuality has traditionally been based on the assumption that people are exclusively attracted to someone of the opposite. Gender. Men are exclusively attracted to women. Women are exclusively attracted to men. However we know that is simply not the case.
There are many different genders and sexualities and respecting those differences and those individuals as important, we should do things like refrain from assuming whether it’s a person’s gender or sexual orientation refrain from making assumptions based on how they present themselves act or how they look.
Be gender inclusive in your language use they instead of heat or she as generic pronouns. Yes. Even if you’re referring to a single individual, when speaking of another person whose pronouns, you do not know, avoid using gender specific language. However, if you do know someone’s pronouns, use them when talking to, or about them.
Other examples of gender inclusive language include everyone, folks, colleagues, humankind, workforce chair, person, male person. Disabilities. There is more to inclusive language around disabilities than simply using person. First language. Our language is full of words and phrases that contribute to and further perpetrate, ableism, common terms that you might use frequently contribute to the lesser treatment of people with disabilities.
Instead of using these terms, try to remain as neutral and specific as possible when discussing a disability or a person with a disability, you should frame your language. Using phrases, such as someone living with substance use disorder. Someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder, someone who has XYZ, some common terms to avoid would be addict or alcoholic.
Crazy, insane, psycho nuts. Crippled handicapped or made up terms like handicapable midget or little person special needs. And at any term that frames a disability as a negative experience, such as inflicted with or suffering from any disability related slur and avoid using the terms normal or healthy when describing a person without a disability.
I’m going to take this time to highlight the fact that I’ve used descriptions as a way to, um, show all text capabilities in this description. I’ve described the people in the photo above. It says two people on a sidewalk. One is walking with their hands in their pockets, wearing a black jacket and a Brown skirt.
The other is also wearing a black jacket with black pants and is using a mil mobility scooter. This photo is from the disabled in here collection from effect the verb.com. Race and ethnicity never assume someone’s race or ethnicity based on how they look, if, and only if it is important to the subject at hand, ask them, you should always avoid stereotyping when it comes to race, ethnicity, culture, or skin color.
There are a lot of terms related to race and ethnicity that are offensive and untrue. These terms have continued to perpetrate discrimination, prejudice, and violence against multiple communities terms to avoid. Would of course be any type of racial or ethnic slur, outdated terms such as Oriental, Arab colored, et cetera, mixed foreigner.
Alternatives would be BIPOC, which means black indigenous people of color people, or a person of color BI or multi-racial international. Religion, nearly 30% of the population of the United States are affiliated with non-Christian belief systems or unaffiliated altogether making or acting on assumptions that your audience shares the same faith as you could cause them to feel excluded or offended.
So when you’re creating content for your site, your newsletters or your social media profiles, you should use inclusive phrases, such as happy holidays or seasons greetings refrain from using Ady or BC when referring to years. Use the term place of worship instead of church or house of prayer, socioeconomic status.
Class discrimination is described in the dictionary as biased or discriminatory attitude based on distinctions made between social or economic classes in a study published by Michael w Kraus young one park and has synth J X tan in 2017, titled signs of social class, the experience of economic inequality in everyday life.
Found that people can determine your socioeconomic status in the span of time, it takes to speak seven words to them. So in terms to avoid when discussing socioeconomic status would be impoverished, poverty stricken, needy, less fortunate, the homeless alternatives would include economically disadvantaged a person experiencing poverty, a person living at or below the poverty line, a person experiencing homelessness.
Age society tends to favor young people while holding negative attitudes towards aging. This attitude can be harmful to older adults being prejudiced or discriminatory towards someone because of their age is considered age discrimination or age-ism intergenerational communication in your content may sometimes be tough, but it is crucial to ensure that your audience feels respected regardless of their age.
There are a few instances where bringing up a person’s age is necessary. If it is, do your best to remain respectful some okay terms to use a beat aging person, older adult person, or people over X age size, body shaming, fat shaming, or size discrimination refers to discrimination that is perpetrated against people based on their size.
Fat people are typically the targets of size discrimination. However, slim people can also be body shamed as with most of our topics in this presentation, it is rarely necessary to discuss someone’s body. Generally you should avoid describing someone based on their size or weight. However, if necessary, it is best to use terms that are not insulting.
Again, some okay terms to use would be fat simply as an adjective without any negative connotation, slim also as an adjective without any negative connotation. Person first language requires us to be mindful of the ways in which we connect and choose to see others. When you’re making changes to the way that you create content, you should ask yourself some simple questions is the message that I’m creating accessible to all.
Am I honoring my audience’s dignity? Am I honoring the unique qualities that my audience possesses? Am I contributing to stereotyping or discrimination? Am I open to learning new lessons about how I create content? Some inclusive language resources include the better allies Slack bot. This bot will automatically flag non-inclusive language and suggest better alternatives.
For instance, if you want to remove the phrase, Hey guys, from your vocabulary, you simply inform the bot and it will flag you with a recommendation whenever you default to that phrase in a Slack. Text you, this writing platform scores your team on the content they write and prevent suggestions on how to improve these suggestions include bias, interruption, language, insights, and analytics, all of which will help you create more inclusive content, gender decoder, simply copy and paste your content into the site.
And it will check for gender bias. Furthermore, you should check out the Ted talk with Kimberly Crenshaw. This 18 minute talk will help you understand the intersectionality of gender and race as well as implicit biases while it is convenient to have access to automated services, having an understanding of your bias and how identities often intersect is ultimately the more important visuals matter.
Representation and imagery is an important part of inclusion continuity. If you take the time to create content that is inclusive, your images and visual elements should follow suit. Inclusive. Visual elements are not as simple as showing a variety of skin colors. The status quo. Think about the huge amount of media we consume daily.
What show you binge on Netflix? What you saw? Gee, scrolled Instagram on Twitter or Twitter. The commercials that came on the news anchors you watch the majority of them share specific qualities. They are white, mostly young, slim, and able-bodied. These things. These images that we consume are of an altered reality.
In reality, white people only make up less than 60% of the population of the United States. Almost 40% of Americans are fat. And 20% of Americans are older images that are, non-inclusive create the same issues that non-inclusive language does. They perpetrate inequality and negatively impact our self-worth.
Committing to choosing photos and visual elements that are more inclusive may seem like a time-consuming task. However, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure the imagery you’re publishing isn’t as inclusive as your content. Images have a huge impact on imprinting and reinforcing our view of the world.
And yet most media professionals don’t spend half the time being as thoughtful about their images as they do about their words often because of a lack of time and money. We look for the most cost-effective picture that works not examining how our use of a photo, maybe reinforcing harmful stereotypes.
That’s the paradox of bias and marketing and fundraising. She is also with brevity and wit. How did you choose inclusive imagery first? Do you have to confront your implicit biases? Many of the choices we make are heavily influenced by the world around us. Take a moment to open up your favorite stock photo site and search for simple images like doctor or housekeeper.
What do you see? Is it mainly men when you search for the word doctor, when you searched the word housekeeper where the photos mainly of women, additionally, were they white? The more you observe the bias that is prevalent, the better equipped you’ll be to skirt past what is placed directly in front of you and choose photos that do not perpetuate harmful stereotypes.
Ask yourself questions who is missing. Am I perpetuating any stereotypes? Can I choose a photo that might be less predictable choose photos that intentionally put all sorts of people in all sorts of spotlights. Create a checklist to be including as many types of people as possible. When you’re choosing imagery, while you may not be able to represent each demographic in each photo, every time, the more diverse the images, the better check for race and ethnicity are multiple races and ethnicities represented.
What about body types? Am I showing a range of body types and abilities? Does my photo represent people with different physical or mental abilities? Am I showcasing the gender spectrum and age. Have I represented a variety of ages from birth to older? Create targeted searches, use filters, dig deep and create specifically targeted searchers.
For instance, Shutterstock has a filter for ethnicity, simply unclick Caucasian search for terms like black men, hiking, searching photos like this might feel super weird at first, but look past the first page of results. There’s plenty of stock photo resources, like nappy.com. Genderphotos.vice.com, affecttheverb.com backslash collection, blackillustrations.com, creat herstock.com, pexels.com, toni.co, nativeagency.org, gettyimages.com backsplash showus.
Consistent execution of diverse and inclusive imagery can make the difference in how your audience connects with your brand. Some accessibility tips provide meaningful links. Avoid using phrases like click here, provide alt text for images.
This is a description of an image as pictured here. Use clear and easily digestible language, caption your videos and provide transcripts. Capitalize your hashtags, please, in mind that this is not a comprehensive guide to inclusion. There is so much nuance to religion, gender, and sexuality, race and ethnicity, et cetera, 30 minutes.
Is simply not enough time to cover it all. However, I hope that the time we’ve spent together has been informational and that you’ll take what we’ve discussed today to create a significant strategy around inclusion and diversity in your content. Additionally, please bear in mind that language has ever changing inclusive languages too.
You won’t always get it right. But be open to being corrected and informed. If you always strive to include others moving in the right direction. Thank you for coming to my talk. You can find my company and connect with me on Instagram at content journey.