Using Nondiscriminatory Language in Business Communication

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Using Active Verbs and Active Voice in Business Communication

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Discriminatory Language
  • 0:46 Rules to Avoid Discrimination
  • 4:00 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
In this lesson, you'll learn the importance of avoiding discriminatory language in business communication. We will look at why it is essential to use the correct word choices when discussing gender, age, disability, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

Discriminatory Language

Business professionals need to avoid discriminatory language in the workplace that uses prejudicial and derogatory words that will offend others. Discriminatory writing can cause hurt, pain and miscommunication. The three primary areas of concern in writing a business message are discriminatory wording for gender, age and disabilities.

Donna is known as the 'Discriminator' at her job as a bakery manager for a place called Chiffon. She is inappropriate in her messages, emails and other correspondence. Donna needs to become better educated about how to communicate in a more professional manner. Let's look at some tips that will help Donna to avoid using words that discriminate in her writing.

Rules to Avoid Discrimination

Donna's constant abuse of the English language has caused numerous staff complaints about her communication methods. The result is that she has been yanked from her job and put on probation cleaning bathroom stalls and washing bakery pans. Here are the rules of nondiscriminatory language that Donna broke:

Donna does not use gender-neutral words. Most of Donna's reports refer to the bakery staff as 'she' when a few of the staff members are male bakers. She needs to use correct pronouns in her writing. She could say 'she/he,' 'bakers' or 'they' when referring to the bakery staff instead of assuming all bakers are female. Another example of discriminatory gender wording is the use of specific male/female job references. Donna has in the past mentioned the word 'waitress' for the bakery shop in her emails when she should have selected the word 'server' as a more generic option.

Donna has failed to use appropriate disability wording in her workplace communication. Donna has referred to disabled individuals as 'retarded,' 'mental' or 'crippled.' In the past, Donna has used the main disability as the only description of a person. In her employee report, she mentioned that Jenna is a deaf employee. In this instance, she is using a description that focuses on the word 'deaf.' Instead, she should have written, 'Jenna works for the bakery staff and is a person who has a hearing disability.' This way, the focus of the description is not about her deafness but instead about her job, and this uses a more appropriate wording of her disability.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account