April 16, 2009

Some speakers always refer to “executive director” as “he.” Some boards refer to the “chairman.” Too many people usually use the masculine pronoun.

That really annoys me! There are lots of executive directors who are female. There are many board members who are not men. There are even some (but not enough) heads of Fortune 500 companies and leaders of the world who are women.

Enough with the masculine pronoun. It’s insulting. This isn’t political-correctness gone awry. This is basic courtesy, basic respect. This is just basic!

So I always say — even when speaking casually or when making presentations: She or he. I write that way, too.

There’s a great article at Visual Thesaurus called “The Pronoun Problem.” Read the whole article.

Do you know about Visual Thesaurus. Check it out. A handy tool.

Filed under: Leadership


About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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