Speaking at the 12th Asian Women In Leadership Summit in Singapore (June 2023)
The Asian Women In Leadership Summit (AWLS) is an annual event held in Singapore to promote and empower women leaders in Asia. Each year the summit has a theme and in 2023 the topic was “Nurturing Women Leaders for a better future.”
The one-day event was attended by around 200 guests, from Government officials to businesss leaders and NGOs.
The sessions and panels covered various topics, from how to develop skills to grow a professional network rich in depth and width to challenges women leaders face throughout their careers, particularly as they enter the senior level.
The line-up of speakers was a range of senior C-level executives, consultants and entrepeneurs. Find the speakers here.
Chief HR Office of the Singapore Government, Low Peck Kem made the opening remarks.
My session was a workshop on Inclusive Language for an Inclusive Culture. I co-hosted it with Anupama Murali and we covered topics such as the key principles of speaking in an inclusive language:
- Neutrality: use terms that are neutral and don’t favour people based on gender, sexual orientation, ability, or other.
- People-first: saying a person with a disability versus a disabled person puts the emphasis on the person, the individual. Try to put the individual first focuses on our commonalities versus our differences.
- Accuracy: speaking a language that is a true reflection of reality ensures a more inclusive language.
– A toilet is not disabled, it’s accessible.
– A person doesn’t have special needs, they have might accessibility requirements.
– Women are not a minority, they are under-represented
- Context and relevance: like any other language, inclusive language has to be contextualized to understand its impact. Saying hi guys in a room full of men is fine however it could be seen as non-inclusive when there are women in the room.
We finished the session with a case study focused on Boots and their media scandal related to a non-inclusive parking sign. To learn more about the story click here.