The linguistic nonsense of gendering apparently does not stop at those who have to deal with language professionally. The fact that the Audi communications department is now introducing the bulky underscore to promote equality is only due to the supposed zeitgeist, not the proper use of language or genuine equality. And certainly not the image of the lead.
Does the genderization of language really promote the integration of women as equal parts of society? Linguists are divided, depending on which political camp they belong to. Like many of my colleagues, I consider it utter nonsense. Just like the reason communicated by Audi:
“Often the gender diversity in the language is not visible through the use of the generic masculine. There are basically two options for gender-sensitive communication in writing. On the one hand, with the help of neutral formulations: "employees" instead of "employees" or "managers" instead of "boss". The second option is to make it visible: At Audi, this is done using what is known as the gender gap. This notation combines the male and female forms with an underscore. The gender gap - written for example as employees - represents all non-binary gender identities between men and women. With the gender gap, Audi is following the recommendation of the "Diversity Charter" eV and other partner initiatives of the company. "
You have to come to that first.
To support the Audi employees on this path, a cross-departmental project team has created guidelines and set up their own intranet site. It contains all the important information, a glossary with application examples and an animated film on the subject. Communicators from AUDI AG already had the opportunity to attend online live training courses. This was carried out by the consulting agency fairlanguage. A help desk also provides support in the introductory phase by e-mail with questions about specific formulations.
But the press release also comes to the reasonable conclusion: Gender-sensitive language alone does not create equal opportunities - Audi is well aware of this. That is why the company is committed to promoting equal opportunities and inclusion. Audi has set itself goals for women not only on the Supervisory Board, but also on the Executive Board and in management. Anyone who defines and sets goals must create a comprehensive basis for them: The brand is promoting innovative new work formats such as job sharing, creating better conditions for the compatibility of work and family and offers training on unconscious prejudices in order to create a new mindset in the company in the long term to anchor. Audi has also been actively promoting women for a long time through special programs, for example through cooperation with the female business club nushu.
That is undoubtedly exemplary. But it is not the corruption of the German language. One can only hope that the realization that equal opportunities do not depend on language will soon lead to more important challenges being taken on and the nonsense of language to be taken back again. As can be heard, there are many employees who rebel against these language requirements. I do not share the opinion of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Sabine Maaßen, that Audi is making “corporate values clear in our language”. Gender language certainly does not contribute to the image of lead by technology .