As we strive to be more inclusive, ADI is considering its responsibility for the language used in millions of lines of software code, hardware schematics, and in everyday technical conversations. ADI is proactively examining the documentation for the use of insensitive or offensive legacy terminology across our digital platforms.
ADI CTO Dan Leibholz brought together the Words Matter Team to examine the issues with code and, specifically, master/slave terminology. “Recognizing and changing unconscious bias in every aspect of our business is a priority for ADI," he said. “The Words Matter initiative is an example of how we can be change agents in this area."
As a part of the Words Matter initiative, we are encouraging EngineerZone members to choose an alternate word(s) for terms deemed insensitive or offensive. ADI has identified the following harmful legacy terms/words and has provided an alternative term. Before you post on EZ please consider using one of the alternative terms referenced below and in ADI: Words Matter.
Many individuals have used some of these terms since their first introductions to engineering and may be a little uncomfortable describing familiar systems using the new, recommended terms. However, EngineerZone recognizes the impact that our terminology has, and is taking action to move to more inclusive language.
The terms “master" and “slave" are used in the early days of engineering school to describe relationships between components in the systems they design.EngineerZone is recognizing the language and taking action to implement a change about the new acceptable terminology.
As we improve the community and address insensitive language, we’re adding new functionality that will assist users in adopting the new terminology. In the coming weeks, you will see a pop-up message to authors when posting words that are identified as legacy language in our Words Matter Policy. The pop-up message will read: “Words Matter at ADI. You have included a term that does not reflect inclusivity. Please refer to the Words Matter document to choose one of our recommend alternative terms. We appreciate you editing your post and making the change. Thank you for fostering an inclusive EngineerZone community.”
Whenever you use a legacy term in a forum question or reply, you will receive this pop-up message asking you to consider reposting. See below for an example.
When you receive the pop-up, you can click on “Go back to editing” to make the change. For example, if you use one of the words such as “master” you can choose an alternative such as main. Depending on the context of your reply, you can use the most appropriate word.
As you can see below, it will be clear what word has been identified as a legacy term via the Words Matter Policy.
This new capability flags the usage of terms and recommends alternatives to authors. We acknowledge that the recommended terms apply specifically to most engineering contexts and may not always be the best replacement. The scope of the Words Matter policy is intended to be limited to technical terms that describe engineered systems.
ADI is not alone in asking these questions. Hardware and software companies of all sizes, as well as trade organizations and open-source coding collectives, are examining their own coding practices for signs of racially charged terms.
This new enhancement is one of the many improvements that we're implementing in EngineerZone to promote a more inclusive and welcoming experience.