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I was interviewed earlier this week by a senior journalist and at some point in the conversation the word “mumpreneur” was uttered from her lips. I said with great indignation in my voice “Really!” – why would you use such a word to describe women earning an income at home when men in a similar situation are not labeled “dadpreneurs”?

There is a whole group of bloggers – known as “mummy bloggers” – who perhaps are blogging about their experiences as parents, but people blogging from home who are female could be blogging on all sorts of topics. A male friend of mine blogs successfully on all things gourmet; does that make him a “daddy blogger”?

This week I have been in Adelaide speaking at the National PRIA conference. I urged the group as communicators to think carefully about the language they use and the labels they put on things and particularly groups of people.

Catherine Livingstone is the chairman of Telstra – not the chairwoman. We now have actors and flight attendants not actresses and hostesses. These words were hard fought for over many years – so that they are indeterminate of the gender of the job that is being performed.

It seems that since the 1980s we worked hard to stamp out the sexism in language and yet I see it popping back with new labels meant to describe and pigeon hole a whole bunch of people.

As good friend Carolyn Cresswell urged the people attending last week in Melbourne, “Men don’t get asked how they juggle family and a busy career, so please don’t ask women the same thing.”

Communicators, journalists and bloggers – I urge you to consider the language you use and the questions you ask. Let’s not slip back into the gender labels that we have managed to move beyond.

Picture courtesy of Odesk.com – thanks to the blog post The 10 Most Ridiculous Pictures of “Working From Home”

This article first appeared as part of my LinkedIn Influencer Posts

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