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Inclusive Language in Technology

All Northwestern IT staff are expected to utilize inclusive language in work-related conversations and documentation. Outlined below is a list of approved, commonly accepted alternative terms to replace oppressive terminology. Anyone looking to propose additional alternative terms or replace an oppressive phrase can submit a request at any time using the online feedback tool. Staff are also expected to review and utilize the University's Inclusive Language Guide.

Oppressive Term Inclusive Term(s)
Blackbox Closed box, mystery box
Blackhat (hacker) Criminal, unethical hacker
Blacklist Block list, denied, deny list
Dummy Value Placeholder value, sample value
Grandfather Legacy
Grayhat (hacker) Hacktivist
Man hours Person hours, engineer hours, hours of effort
Master/Slave Primary/replica, parent/child, active/passive, primary/secondary, trunk/branch
Mob Programming Team, swarm, troop
Native (feature) Built-in
Red Team Cyber offense
Scrum Master Agile Lead, Agile Program Manager, Agile Coach, Agile Team Facilitator, Scrum Coach, Scrum Teacher, Scrum Leader, Scrum Facilitator, Servant Leader, Scrum Custodian
Webmaster/web master Web product owner
Whitebox Open box, clear box
Whitehat (hacker) Ethical hacker
Whitelist Allow list, approved, safe list
Whitespace Empty space, blank
White Team Cyber exercise cell
Yellow Team DevSecOps team

Sources

A special thanks to the Anti-Racism in Academia program and the EDUCAUSE IT Communications Community Group members for their pioneering efforts to introduce more inclusive language into the technology sector.

Last Updated: 16 March 2021

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