2017-07-16 10:47:45 UTC
Transport for London (TfL) workers have been told to ditch the phrase
"ladies and gentlemen" in a bid to go gender-neutral.
Instead, staff should use inclusive greetings like "good morning everyone"
to make passengers feel more welcome.
The decision comes after various activists, including LGBT charity
Stonewall, campaigned for the change for months, claiming that although
"ladies and gentlemen" was "polite", it was "outdated" and "belonged to
Pre-recorded announcements and written guidelines for staff will also be
reviewed and amended across the city.
Talking to the Metro, Mark Evers, director of customer strategy at TfL,
said: 'We want everyone to feel welcome on our transport network.
'We have reviewed the language that we use in announcements and elsewhere
and will make sure that it is fully inclusive, reflecting the great
diversity of London."
During a Mayor's Question Time at the end of June, Sadiq Khan expressed
concern that some customers did not feel comfortable about how certain
station announcements were made.
"I am keen that TfL addresses these concerns by speaking in a more neutral
way when referring to gender," he said.
"TfL has made a commitment to transition from gender-specific phrases like
'ladies and gentlemen' which are currently used in announcements, to a
gender-neutral alternative such as 'good morning/good afternoon everyone".
'TfL has briefed its staff on this, though from time to time, well-meaning
staff may still use the term 'ladies and gentlemen'. If this happens
frequently, TfL will issue reminders to staff."
A spokesman for Stonewall said: "Language is extremely important to the
lesbian, gay, bi and trans community, and the way we use it can help ensure
all people feel included.
"We welcome gender neutral announcements to be rolled out across TfL, as it
will ensure that everyone - no matter who they identify as - feels accounted
Institutions across the UK have made similar commitments this year,
including Cardiff Metropolitan University's decision to ban phrases like
"forefathers" and "right-hand man" in March.