We know that the language we use to describe people is important. There is power in language and by using inclusive language we can create a more welcoming environment. 

Inclusive language is less about politically correct terminology but rather, and more, about fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. It also reflects our commitment to equality and social justice. At Cerulean Learning, we regularly reflect on the way we communicate and encourage our learners to do the same. 

When we use certain language it can demonstrate unconscious assumptions about people and reinforce dominant norms or stereotypes. As a result, sometimes our words can have unintended consequences based on people’s experiences of exclusion, oppression and discrimination. This is not always evident to the person using the language if they have never had these experiences. So, inclusive language goes beyond avoiding offensive or derogatory terms. It encompasses a mindset of embracing diversity and acknowledging the multifaceted identities of individuals. 

As we’ve already said, language has immense power – it shapes perceptions, influences attitudes, and ultimately defines the culture of a society. By consciously choosing inclusive language, we create a more welcoming and supportive environment for all.

One of the fundamental principles of inclusive language is respecting people’s identities and preferences. This includes using gender-neutral terms whenever possible and respecting individuals’ chosen pronouns. In the UK, there has been a growing recognition of non-binary and transgender identities, highlighting the need for language that accommodates everyone. 

Moreover, inclusive language extends to all aspects of diversity; it means refraining from using language that reflects stereotypes or assumptions based on someone’s background and instead embracing the richness of different cultures and experiences. For instance, rather than using terms that reinforce racial or ethnic stereotypes, we can opt for language that celebrates diversity and promotes understanding.

Inclusive language also plays a crucial role in promoting accessibility and inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, including people with disabilities. This involves using respectful and empowering language that focuses on people’s abilities and avoiding terms that perpetuate ableism. Inclusive language isn’t just a matter of semantics; it’s a reflection of our values as a society. By embracing inclusive language, we demonstrate our commitment to equality, diversity, and social justice. With inclusive language we can create  a sense of belonging for everyone, regardless of their background or identity.  

If you are keen to learn more, why not book on to our Inclusive Language Bite-size Learning session? 

This short workshop has been designed to support you in identifying appropriate language and to provide practical examples of preferred terms and phrases that work well in verbal and written communications. We help you build your knowledge, dexterity and confidence in communicating with people from all backgrounds and at all levels, and each person leaves with a copy of our guide to inclusive language.

Take a look at out Inclusive Language Bite-size Learning session here