The key to creating inclusion is to look at people or situations around us, but in a different way.
So this could be reducing the stigma around mental ill-health by learning more about what it means to experience depression or anxiety.
Or it can mean changing the language we use around menstrual cycles.
Boots UK recently announced that they will be renaming aisles from ‘feminine hygiene’ to ‘period products’. This might seem like a minor or unnecessary change to a lot of people. However, there is still a lot of stigma which surrounds periods and which affects people on a daily basis – e.g. the use of the word ‘hygiene’ and the implication that periods are therefore unsanitary.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said: ‘We welcome the move away from the term “hygiene” when talking about period products. Periods are not dirty or unhygienic, they are normal and natural and we would urge more retailers to do the same.’
Many workplaces are providing free tampons and pads in their bathroom facilities. Even here, the language we use makes a difference. So if you are providing and referring to these at your place of work, consider making the change from “feminine hygiene products” to simply “period products”.
Seemingly small changes like this can actually have a wide-ranging impact over time.
What steps can an individual take to create a more inclusive mindset?
- Learn more about the topic at hand
- Build greater awareness about the language we use and the impact of it
- Talk to people with knowledge or experience that is relevant
- Bring awareness to any biases we might hold and whether those biases are useful, abundant and compassionate; or related to a potentially unhelpful way of being and related to a scarcity-based way of thinking.
What changes will you make at your organisation?