Bias-free communication

Microsoft technology reaches every part of the globe—so it’s critical that all our communications are inclusive and diverse.

Use gender-neutral or inclusive terms to refer to people.

Use this Not this
chair, moderator chairman
humanity, people, humankind man, mankind
operates, staffs mans
sales representative salesman
synthetic, manufactured manmade
work force, staff, personnel manpower

Avoid masculine pronouns. Don’t use he and his in references to a person whose gender is unknown. Instead, rewrite to use the second person (you) or the or a (for example, "the document"). Or refer to a person’s role (reader, employee, or client, for example), or simply use person or individual. For more information, see Nouns and pronouns.
Examples
If you have the appropriate rights, you can set other users’ passwords.
A user with the appropriate rights can set other users' passwords.
Select the name of the person, select Make a phone call, and then choose the number you'd like to dial.

Don’t use slang, especially if it could be considered profane or derogatory, such as pimp or bitch.

In fictitious scenarios, use a variety of names, both male and female, that reflect various cultural backgrounds.

Be conscious of stereotypes in job roles. For example, in fictitious scenarios, use male and female names from a variety of cultures for leadership and technical roles.

In text and images, represent diverse perspectives and circumstances. Depict a variety of people from all walks of life participating fully in activities. Be inclusive of gender, race, culture, ability, age, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic class. Show people in a wide variety of professions, educational settings, locales, and economic settings. Avoid using examples that reflect primarily a Western or affluent lifestyle. In drawings or blueprints of buildings, show ramps for wheelchair accessibility.

Be inclusive of job roles, family structure, leisure activities, and purchasing power. If you show various family groupings, consider showing nontraditional and extended families.

Be mindful when you refer to various parts of the world. If you name cities, countries, or regions in examples, make sure they're not politically disputed. In examples that refer to several regions, use equivalent references—for example, don’t mix countries with states or continents.

Don’t make generalizations about people, countries, regions, and cultures, not even positive or neutral generalizations.

Avoid culturally sensitive terms, such as the terms associated with military or political actions or other historic events and eras.

Use this Not this
master/subordinate master/slave
perimeter network demilitarized zone (DMZ)
stop responding hang

Focus on people, not disabilities. For example, talk about readers who are blind or have low vision and customers with limited dexterity. Don’t use words that imply pity, such as stricken with or suffering from. Don’t mention a disability unless it's relevant. For more information, see the Accessibility term collection.

Learn more For more information about writing that conveys respect to all people and promotes equal opportunities, see the Guidelines for Inclusive Language from the Linguistic Society of America.

See also Accessibility guidelines and requirements, Global communications