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14.06 Titles of occupations

Eliminate titles and terms which suggest that a job is not typically performed by persons of either sex or that the task varies depending on whether the incumbent is a woman or a man. As far as possible, job titles should not imply that the job can be filled only by members of one sex.

  • Do not feminize occupational titles by adding ess, as in "manageress," ette as in "usherette" and ix as in "executrix." Do not add gratuitous modifiers, as in "lady doctor" or "male nurse."
  • Use feminine nouns when women are referred to, or gender-inclusive nouns when a man or woman is not specifically referred to:
    • spokeswoman/spokesperson/representative not spokesman
    • chairwoman/chairperson/chair not chairman3
    • councillor not councilman or alderman
    • technician not repairman
    • trade worker not journeyman
    • cleaner not cleaning woman
  • For non-discriminatory occupational titles, refer to the Manual of Sex-Free Occupational Titles and the National Occupation Classification.    


  • Back to the note3 In some cases, official names such as "chairman" and "alderman" cannot be changed without legal approval.