#WordsAtWork: David Morrison wants Australians to stop saying gender-based terms like ‘guys’
Australian of the Year and former Army chief David Morrison says the term “guys” should no longer be used in workplaces.
The retired Lieutenant General is today launching a new Diversity Council Australia video which aims to crack down on language which excludes minority groups.
“Exclusive language, gender-based language or inappropriate language, has as much a deleterious or disadvantaged effect as something where you’re saying something blatantly inappropriate to another human being,” General Morrison told ABC News Breakfast.
He said he was not trying to become the “language police” by supporting the new campaign, and expected to be criticised for the idea.
The #WordsAtWork campaign video depicts a group of women rolling their eyes at being called “girls” by a male colleague.
“All the campaign is doing is saying look, it’s a proven fact that more inclusive [and] more diverse workforces create real diversity of thinking and are more productive, more effective,” General Morrison said.
“And one of the ways that you can engender that type of environment is being careful about how you speak to other people, talking to them with respect and listening to their views with respect.”
General Morrison said he was now trying to personally stop using the word “guys” when speaking to groups of people.
“I have now removed that from my lexicon as best I can, I think it’s important.”