An Inclusive Language Guidance has been a highly requested resource by numerous affiliated clubs and recognised training centres. Many have expressed that they face challenges with the language that is used to describe the roles they play within sailing, boating and water sports. This guidance highlights the importance of valuing everyone’s identity in the language that we use. Language plays a huge part in the ways in which we are all included, recognised and feel belonging in a community.
The language that we use in everyday conversations is constantly evolving. Some words that we might have used 50 years ago, are no longer appropriate when it comes to describing different people. Some terms disappear and resurface, while others are modified and redefined. It’s important that the language we use shifts alongside the progression of our understanding and knowledge of different groups of people that may not share our individual characteristics.
Inclusive language is vocabulary that we can include into our everyday thoughts and conversations, and when writing documents or policies. The aim of inclusive language is to honour and respect everyone’s experiences, values, and individuality.
Inclusive language requires us to challenge our own stereotypes and prejudice towards different groups of people in our society and aids us to unlearn negative habits that are ingrained in us from a young age. Using inclusive language aims to respect individuals with protected characteristics, as defined by the Equality Act 2010. This includes age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. Not only this, but inclusive language also values everybody, whether you’re male or female, heterosexual or homosexual, older or younger...
The RYA Inclusive Language Guidance: Modern Day Manners was developed by the RYA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and has been reviewed by a range of stakeholders within the organisation. The guidance is intended to be used in a dictionary style, to navigate to the areas that you want to learn more about - you don’t need to read it all in one go!
To find out more and to receive a copy of the Inclusive Language Guidance, please email the RYA Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team.
Inclusive language also means ensuring that your policies, documents, articles and communications are accessible too.