Example: Each participant must present his ID badge at the door.
Revised: All participants must present their ID badges at the door.
Example: The client should receive his invoice in two weeks.
Revised: The client should receive his or her invoice in two weeks.
Note: Most sources agree that the construction s/he should be avoided.
Example: The stage manager must delegate all the tasks; he is therefore responsible for the show's success.
Revised: The stage manager must delegate all the tasks; this individual is therefore responsible for the show's success.
Example: The incumbent is expected to edit a variety of documents. He must also prepare weekly updates.
Revised: The incumbent is required to edit a variety of documents and prepare weekly updates.
Example: The student must submit the course registration papers by July 1. His guidance counsellor will send confirmation by mail.
Revised: The student must submit the course registration papers by July 1. The student's guidance counsellor will send confirmation by mail.
Example: drafts policies, edits materials and develops programs
Example: The tenant must keep his apartment clean and tidy.
Revised: You must keep your apartment clean and tidy.
Note: Although plural pronouns (they, them, themselves) are sometimes used as gender-neutral singular pronouns in informal writing, they are not fully accepted. Use this practice with caution.
Example: If your child is expecting you after school, please don't make them wait.
Better: If your children are expecting you after school, please don't make them wait.
Example: One of the lovely ladies in the office will answer your call.
Revised: One of the administrative assistants will answer your call.
Example: If you need anything, just let the girl at the desk know.
Revised: If you need anything, just let my assistant know.
|waitress||waiter (or server)|
This table provides a list of gender-neutral titles to use instead of feminine titles that end in ess, ette, ienne, and trix.
Example: Joni, a stewardess with Travel Bug, moonlights as a comedienne. Revised: Joni, a flight attendant with Travel Bug, moonlights as a comedian.
Use gender-neutral occupational titles.
|businessman, businesswoman||businessperson, people in business|
|chairman, chairwoman||chair, chairperson, convenor|
|cleaning lady||office cleaner|
|headmaster, headmistress||director, principal|
|mailman||mail carrier, letter carrier|
|policeman, policewoman||police officer|
|salesman||clerk, salesclerk, sales associate, salesperson|
This table provides a list of gender-neutral occupational titles to use instead of titles that end in man, woman, lady or mistress.
|average man||average person, ordinary person|
|best man for the job||best person for the job|
|man (when referring to humanity)||human beings, humanity, humans, individuals, people|
|man and wife||husband and wife, partners|
|man-made||artificial, handmade, manufactured, synthetic|
|manpower||personnel, staff, workers, workforce|
|to man||to operate, to staff|
This table provides a list of gender-neutral generic terms to use instead of the generic term man, generic words and expressions that contain the word man and the use of man as an adjective or verb.
Note: You should also avoid expressions like career woman. Instead, be specific: artist, director, doctor, professor, etc.
Example: Dear Ms. Turpin:
Note: If you don't know the sex of the addressee, use Dear followed by the person's initials and surname. Similarly, if you do not know the name of the addressee, use the form Dear Madam or Sir or Dear Sir/Madam.
Giselle Ward and James Whyte
G. Ward and J. Whyte
Giselle Ward, the psychologist, and James Whyte, the teacher
Note: This guideline also applies to couples and work associates. Be sure to check whether married couples share the same last name.
Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Parker
Clayton Parker and his wife Maude
Mr. and Mrs. Clayton and Maude Parker
Maude and Clayton Parker
Mr. and Mrs. Parker
Denise Angus and her assistant Walter
Roy Bonneville, President, and his interpreter Jenn
Denise Angus and her assistant Walter Banks
Roy Bonneville, President, and his interpreter Jenn Wilford
List names in alphabetical order or according to rank.
|Marielle Abbots||Peter Martineau, President|
|Dave Barton||Francie Morris, Vice-President|
|Priscilla Conroy||Marcus Grabka, Treasurer|
|Kim Nittleton||Darlene Tempesta, Secretary|
This table provides a list of names in alphabetical order and a list of names according to rank.
Each student must submit her or his paper by noon tomorrow.
Dear Madam or Sir:
In Canada, women and men are equally susceptible to heart disease.
For more on non-sexist language, consult The Canadian Style; Editing Canadian English; The Little, Brown Handbook; or The Gregg Reference Manual.
Test your knowledge and take the quiz on gender-neutral language.