BP in Spotlight: Inclusive Language Guidelines by German Informatics Society

The DiversIT Charter is here not only to certify your efforts, but also to inspire you and enable you to learn from each other. This is why we are launching the “Best Practice in Spotlight” feature of our newsletter. In each edition, we will showcase a particularly outstanding initiative, project or practice brought to us by our Certified Members.  

German Informatics Society logo

Today, we bring you the inclusive language (IL) guidelines developed and adopted by one of our Gold Certified Members, the German Informatics Society (GI). The first iteration was developed more than 20 years ago by the GI “Women and Computer Science” expert group. They examined everyday and technical language and drew up guidelines that made men and women equal in both written and spoken German. 

Since language is constantly changing, 20 years later the expert group sat down to update the guidelines. While the first brochure only dealt with the consideration of the female and male gender, the new version takes into account the further development of both the social consensus and the legislation with the introduction of the “gender star”. 

The IL guide, which is freely available for download on the GI website, gives detailed instructions and examples of different aspects and tenses, as well as recommendations of more gender-inclusive communication in daily life, such as email greeting lines (“Good afternoon, Maria Muster” instead of “Dear Mrs Muster”) and inclusive, stereotype-breaking images in company communications materials (think things like avoiding pictures showing “male boss-female secretary”). Finally, the guidelines provide a checklist to control whether your produced materials are truly inclusive. The GI Executive Committee decreed the guide to be binding for all GI publications and speech. 

This important and interesting topic will be the focus of our next workshop in the “Your People, Your Potential” series. Elisabeth Schauermann will lead an online workshop on 29 June from 10:00 to 11:00 CEST. We still have a few spaces left, so be quick to register


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