Who: IAB Canada and BIMM
What: AutoCorrectHER, a Google Chrome extension that provides alternatives to some of the gender-biased language that can seep into everyday email usage—terms that can be unknowingly disrespectful, irritating, or infantilizing.
How: Visit Chrome Web Store, and search for “AutoCorrectHER,” click on “Add to Chrome” and then hit the “Add Extension” button. That simple.
Why do we need this: Because addressing women as “girls”—or describing them as “bossy” or “moody”—can contribute to workplace gender divides that reinforce even larger problems, like the pay gap and harassment. These structural flaws aren’t just harmful to women but bad for business (to the tune of $150 billion a year in Canada alone).
And why a Chrome extension: Both IAB Canada and BIMM say AutoCorrectHER may be just a small action, but it’s a concrete step toward changing behaviours and making women feel more respected in the workplace. “We all use terms without giving much thought to how they might inadvertently reinforce deep-seated perceptions around gender inequalities,” said Sonia Carreno, president of IAB Canada.
And we quote: “If the use of this extension can create even just a brief pause to reflect on the simple things we could all do to help promote equality in our private and workplace communications, then we will have done our part to start the conversation,” said Carreno.
“Language effects the way we think about things,” said Rene Rouleau, BIMM’s vice-president and creative director. Workplace inequality exists because of a mindset that has been around for much too long. “And it is only recently that we have started to change, and it takes daily effort… [AutoCorrectHER] is a small step toward that but at least it will work on a daily level.”