33rd Annual Conference

March 8-12, 2021


Edit, Undo, Delete: A Crash Course in De-Sanitizing Language in the Workplace

20-minute Trend Talk

Day 3

Session Code: TT-5A
When: March 10, 2021
Level: Intermediate
Track: Innovation & Transformation
Presenter: Ashley Oolman, Allied Folk


Words matter, making the balance between upholding brand language and avoiding making watered down promises a challenge. Though all workplaces have them, corporate ethos, communication guidelines, and company policies can clash with words that mean the most to many employees. Additionally, concepts like coded language and loaded position descriptions continue to uphold social constructs such as racism, ableism, sexism and beyond. How do we stay true to our brand without perpetuating stereotypes and creating harm in the workplace?

This session will lead participants through an exploration of how we unintentionally reinforce social constructs with language, and how to end the practice at work. Together we will examine the impact of sanitized language in the workplace, the ways in which it is most commonly used, and where the most meaningful adjustments can be made.

Learning Outcomes

• Explore the most common ways dominant cultures use language and control narratives
• Examine the impact of sanitized language in the workplace, and where it shows up
• Extend the vocabulary commonly used at work, and replace unnecessary or outdated language


The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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