non-discriminatory language

As an international organization, CERN has to take care in its texts to avoid any impression of discrimination with regard to gender, race, culture, nationality, religion, etc.

Sometimes, offence may be caused inadvertently where the reader and the author have different sensitivities. The most frequent example of this, and one which is being addressed throughout the United Nations system of organizations, is gender bias.

See gender

Similarly, in the preamble to its Staff Rules and Regulations [CERN NICE Login required], CERN reaffirms equality of treatment between people as one of the basic principles of its personnel policy and does not discriminate between members of its personnel, in particular on account of race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.

However, in practice, it is very difficult to draft gender-neutral texts in English without making them unduly cumbersome, e.g. by repeated use of "his or her". To resolve this, as a pragmatic solution to the complex problem of non-discriminatory drafting of texts applying to all members of the CERN personnel, the Staff Rules and Regulations state that their provisions apply to both men and women, except where it is clear from the context that they relate exclusively to one sex or the other.

 

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