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Airline Qantas to start using gender neutral language on flights

Meka Beresford March 5, 2018
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Qantas adopted gender-neutral language earlier this year (Getty Images)

Australian airline Qantas has issued guidance to its staff to begin using gender-neutral language onboard flights.

The airline’s People and Culture Group reportedly sent employees an information pack regarding appropriate use of gendered language.

It advised staff to drop terms such as husband and wife in favour of partner and spouse.

Parents will be used instead of mother and father to ensure inclusivity on flights.

The language is not only to create a safe space for fliers but also for employees who may identify as LGBTQ+.

Alan Joyce

The guidance advises staff to avoid casual gendered language when talking to each other such as “guys”, “love” and “honey”.

The pack also covers colonisation and mansplaining”.

It says that staff should be acknowledging the past of the country, and so insists that they should not call it a “settlement” but rather a colonisation, invasion or occupation.

The company also explained “manterruptions”, or mansplaining, which refers to men interrupting women while their speaking.

“Research shows that in many situations, including the workplace, men interrupt and speak over women, while the reverse rarely happens,” the information pack states.

A spokesperson for the company has said that they have a “long and proud history of promoting inclusion among our people, our customers and society”.

“We want Qantas to be an inclusive workplace and we shared some factsheets created by the Diversity Council of Australia with some suggestions on more inclusive language, particularly on gender, age and LGBTI issues,” the spokesperson said.

The same information pack was reportedly distributed to 150 companies in the country.

Pie face tony alan joyce tony overheu

Qantas was one of many companies that supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia.

Chief executive Alan Joyce, who is openly gay, was a vocal supporter of the yes campaign.

The 51-year-old was infamously pied in the face last year while giving a talk at a business event in Perth.

Tony Overheu, who thrust the lemon meringue pie into Joyce’s face, was charged with common assault after carrying out the attack.

Speaking after the incident, Joyce said that it “encouraged” him to “be out there and express my views even more strongly than I have done in the past”.

“Qantas has always spoken up on gender issues, on LGBTI issues, on indigenous issues, and we’ll continue to do so, and no attempt to at bullying us into suppressing our voice will work,” he added.

Related topics: Australia, Australia, gender neutral, gender neutral language, LGBT, non-binary, qantas

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