Consciously Speaking - A Short Terminology Book on Gender, Sex and Sexuality Released

The terminologies that we use in our day-to-day conversations can have a positive or a negative impact.  Discriminatory language can intentionally or unintentionally demean people by using incorrect or offensive terminologies in our communications. 

‘Consciously Speaking’, a book that aims to enable readers to use inclusive terminologies across themes of gender, sex and sexuality, was released this week by Avian WE, a leading integrated communications firm, in collaboration with The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI),its industry partner, and The Rainbow Lit Fest - Queer & Inclusive, its strategic partner. 

The foreword for the book ‘has been penned by Dilip Chenoy, secretary general, FICCI.

The book has been developed in consultation with gender experts from the development space and LGBTQIA+ advocates. The book gives the readers an understanding of terminologies, its definition, explaining its concept, context, caution for usage along with usage examples. Femininity, masculinity, assigned gender, LGBTQIA+, sexual orientation are some of the terminologies used in the book.

Dilip Chenoy, secretary general, FICCI said, “Consciously Speaking’ is an amazing book and can act as a great tool for connecting deeply with persons from diverse gender identities. We live in a world where diversity and inclusion (D&I) is of critical importance and responsible communication is an important subset of D&I. Hence, it is imperative to build people’s understanding about usage of certain terminologies as prudently guided by this book. FICCI is glad to be associated with AvianWE and the Rainbow Lit Fest team as the Industry Partner for the launch of ‘Consciously Speaking’. FICCI has a Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion to support gender inclusion at workplace, empower persons with disabilities and facilitate LGBTQ+ inclusion across India Inc. Such endeavours can go a long way in enabling a supportive, diverse, and inclusive ecosystem and inspire people to be their true selves.”

Sharif Rangnekar, festival director, The Rainbow Lit Fest said, “Language has an immediate impact on mindsets and culture. Therefore, I find the book important as it makes people aware of how to engage with the queer community. It could help change a place, space and culture in the times to come.”

Sharmistha Ghosh, vice president, Social Impact, Avian WE said, “As communication professionals, we know that responsible messaging is imperative – as it has the ability to enforce or break stereotypes. ‘Consciously Speaking’ is our effort to build understanding of certain terminologies, embracing the spirit of inclusivity and diversity. It will be updated periodically, as language and the development landscape are constantly changing, enabling it to stay relevant. The process of creating the content of the book and updating it will be done in consultation with experts. Truly grateful to their contribution to the current terminologies.”

As part of the book launch, panel discussions were hosted on ‘Right Terminology - A conscious choice to break the unconscious bias across gender and sexuality’ and ‘Responsible Communication – Internal and external; understanding the reality of diversity and inclusion and measures organizations can implement,’ which witnessed participation from several experts such as Amita Karadkhedkar, vice president at Citi| site head - Citi Private Bank Tech – QA| Diversity and inclusion advocate, trans role model; Ira Pradhan, leader, Freshworks; Parmesh Sahani, vice president, Godrej Industries Ltd | founder of the Godrej India Culture Lab | Author and LGBTQI inclusion advocate, Paul McGrath, HR director, International, WE Communications; Prachi Rastogi, FICCI task force and head, diversity and inclusion, IBM India; Ravi Bhatnagar, director, external affairs and partnerships Asia Middle East and South Africa, Reckitt Benckiser.