In 2020, Google updated its internal style guide encouraging developers to get rid of ‘unnecessarily gendered language’.
Going one step further in promoting inclusive language, Google will now nudge users on Google Docs to use non-gendered or gender neutral terms instead of ‘generic masculine terms’.
For example, for the word ‘chairman’, Docs will offer suggestions such as “chairperson”. Or while talking about hours involved in a project, rather than using “man hours”, the tool will nudge you to use “person hours” instead.
Google Docs is a free word processing software used by millions of people around the world. While this change may seem small, it has potential to make a major impact in the long run.
Though it isn’t the same as a typo or a grammatical error, unnecessarily gendered language can feed unconscious sexist biases. Inclusive language can make workplaces far more equitable, as it acknowledges diversity and conveys respect to all people.
Way to go Google!