What is inclusive communication?

Can an inclusive working environment be promoted through communication? The answer is YES!

Few of us are aware of the effect of language and communication on us. But the fact is that exclusion, misunderstandings, discrimination and polarisation often occur if language and communication effect are not fully understood.

Communication is therefore an important way for organisations, managers and employees to signal and promote inclusion in the workplace. In the following, we have gathered some good advice and practical insights on how you can become more inclusive in your communication. 

Keep written communication gender neutral

Language shapes our perception of gender, and it also reflects the gender stereotypes that prevail in our society. Therefore, in order to avoid inappropriate stereotypes, the focus should be on keeping communication gender neutral. In this way, all gender categories are embraced and you avoid creating new, inappropriate stereotypes about gender roles. Therefore, consider the following:

·  Use gender-neutral expressions

·  Avoid generic use of male and female forms of pronouns

·  Keep job titles gender neutral

Keep language open-minded

Make your language open-minded by avoiding expressions that demean or exclude people on the basis of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, ethnic or social background or physical or mental characteristics. Therefore, avoid the following:

·  Avoid outdated expressions

·  Avoid generalizing

·  Avoid perpetuating stereotypes

Think about visual communication

An inclusive language must be supported with inclusive visual material, as it is often the visual message that resonates with the recipient. By producing aspects of diversity (gender, age, ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, nationality) one can ensure that everyone feels included. Therefore, think about the diversity of your visual communication. Therefore, consider:

·  Choosing images that reflect all aspects of your work environment

·  That the visual expression is consistent with the message you want to be conveyed

If you need concrete advice to promote inclusive communication in your company, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Portrait of Nikoline on a black background. She is facing the camera straight on and wearing a denim high-neck dress and silver hoop earrings.

Nikoline Nybo

BA Anthropology | Chaos pilot.

Experience in cultural analysis and anthropological methodology, project management and process design, organizational development and facilitation.

Portrait of Louise Marie on a black background. She is facing the camera straight on and wearing a red v-neck jumpsuit.

Louise Marie Genefke

Cand. mag. marketing & remunikation | MA management | external lecturer AU.

Experience with management, talent and organizational development, facilitation and Employer Branding.