AWE Challenge: Stop Referring To Women As "Guys"

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By: Meiko Takayama, Founder and CEO of Advancing Women Executives

Have you ever noticed that it's common vernacular to say, "Guys" even when referring to a group that includes women? We forget that the actual definition of "guy" is "man." Put another way, would you feel comfortable addressing a group of men or even a mixed gender group, "Gals?" I consider myself a pretty confident feminist and I can't see myself saying that anytime soon.

However, I have become much more aware of the word, "Guys" and I try to stop myself from saying it unless I am, in fact, addressing a group of guys. Language is one way to create more gender equality so consider choosing your words carefully. I challenge you to...

Stop referring to women as "guys"!

What should you say instead? You could say nothing, since it's really just a filler word, or use words like everyone, all, team, ladies or folks. Please feel free to pass this challenge along to the guys!


AWE Challenges are monthly action-oriented emails we send to executives in our AWE Leader Program to empower them to be better leaders. This was previously sent in May of 2015.