London Underground Tosses ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ for Gender-Neutral Greetings and Announcements

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By Lukas Mikelionis | 10:26 am, July 13, 2017
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London Underground staff has been mandated to stop using “ladies and gentlemen” when greeting people and instead use gender-neutral phrases.

Transport for London (TfL) workers are now told to use non-gendered phrases such as “good afternoon everyone” in a bid to become more welcoming and inclusive, Metro reported.

In addition to staff changing their ways, all pre-recorded announcements will be changed and a written guide given to workers will be reviewed and changed to reflect new gender-neutral policies.

Director of TfL’s customer strategy Mark Evers said the changes were made because “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,” he added.

The campaign to make TfL more inclusive by using gender-neutral announcements and phrases has lasted for months.

As Heat Street reported earlier this month, Aimee Challenor, the Green Party’s 19-year-old equalities spokesperson, slammed Sadiq Khan for not moving forward with gender-neutral language on the London Underground.

She wrote in a blogpost: “Let me be clear, trans and non-binary travellers deserve better than empty promises from Sadiq Khan and Transport for London.

“On Saturday, the Mayor will be celebrating LGBT+ diversity at Pride in London, perhaps he could put actions behind his words and showboating, and stop letting down diverse Londoners and visitors.”

Green Party politician Sian Berry also confronted London’s mayor on the issue during a Mayor’s Question Time last month.

At the time, the Khan said he’s “aware that some customers may not relate to or feel comfortable with the way that certain station announcements are made.

“I am keen that TfL addresses these concerns by speaking in a more neutral way when referring to gender.”

He added: “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.’