KU Style Guide
In general, use terms for jobs and roles that can apply to any gender. Such language aims to treat people equally and is inclusive of people whose gender identity is not strictly male or female. Here are some examples of preferred usage. This list is not all-inclusive, it can serve as a framework by which to consider other words.
— actor In general, use this term for any gender. Use actress for a woman only in stories about the Oscars, Emmys or Tonys, all of which use the word actress in their awards.
— alumnus, alumni, alumna, alumnae, alum The terms alumnus (s.) and alumni (pl.) for men, and alumna (s.) and alumnae (pl.) for women, are acceptable. If a gender-neutral term is desired, alum or alums is acceptable.
— business owner, business person Not businessman/businesswoman.
— chair, chairperson Not chairman/chairwoman.
— colleagues, guests, all, friends, folks Not ladies and gentlemen.
— crew, staff, workforce, workers Not manpower.
— freshman/freshmen The terms freshman/freshmen are acceptable because of their common use on college campuses. If a gender-neutral term is desired, first-year student is acceptable.
— humanity, humankind, humans, human beings, people Not mankind.
— human-made, human-caused, artificial, synthetic Not man-made.
— mail carrier Not mailman.
— police officer Not policeman, policewoman or patrolman.
— staff, run, operate Not to man.
— student Not co-ed
— upperclassman/underclassman The terms upperclassman and underclassman are acceptable because of their common use on college campuses. If a gender-neutral term is desired, lower division/upper division undergraduate is acceptable.
— U.S. representative, representative, member of Congress are preferred. Congressman and congresswoman are acceptable because of their common use. Do not use congressperson.