A Federal Aviation Administration advisory committee is recommending that the largest government transportation agency embrace a woke shift away from “imprecise and exclusionary language” to use more “gender-free” terminology when referring to practices in the industry.
In its newest report, the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee says that to become “an industry that is respectful, welcoming, and brings value to the receiver,” the transportation agency should consider evolving its language to become more inclusive for its employees.
“The primary reason for these recommended changes is to make aviation more inclusive by reducing or eliminating language that reflects intentional or unintentional bias; many of the terms are historical and stem from an earlier era of aviation. We focused mainly on gender bias, particularly on language that derived from what was once a male-dominated industry. But we also reflected a more modern recognition that gender can be non-binary and that personal preferences should be respected whenever possible,” the report states.
Now, instead of using words such as “cockpit,” “unmanned aviation” and “man-made,” the 17-person committee would prefer the terminology be limited to “flight deck,” “uncrewed aviation” and “machine-made.” The report also recommends that in place of using pronouns synonymous with someone’s sex, the agency completely do-away with “his or her,” which is “unnecessarily wordy and enforces a gender binary,” to solely use “they, them, their, or theirs.”
This change, the report states, not only makes “workers feel safe sharing their views” but also prevents male workers from using certain phrases “to undermine femme co-workers.”
“Research shows that the utilization of gender-neutral language can lead to a more inclusive environment that draws more people to the industry and helps keep them there,” the report states.
The drone committee not only stated its wishes for the FAA to quickly review and implement the language recommendation but also expressed hopes that others in the airline industry would follow suit.
“This is really bigger than just the drone industry,” Trish Gilbert, a committee member and executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told the Washington Post. “The entire aviation community, we believe, is watching.”
It is unclear when the FAA is expected to adopt the recommendations, but Deputy Administrator Bradley Mims already hinted that “implementing gender-neutral language into the aviation community is an important step towards achieving diversity and inclusion in the workforce.”