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m/w

English translation: XXXX AG employment decisions are based solely on qualification

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:m/w
English translation:XXXX AG employment decisions are based solely on qualification
Entered by: Dan McCrosky
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13:40 Mar 12, 2001
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Business/Commerce (general)
German term or phrase: m/w
I'm working on some German help wanted advertisements to appear in English. After the professional title, the German ad has (m/w) for (mnnlich/weiblich), which I assume means in this case that they do not care whether the applicant is a woman or man. (That IS kind of them!) AUTODICAUTOM shows (m/f) for masculine/feminine as the European translation. Most of the applicants will come from Europe but the ad may be read around the world. We do not want to make anyone anywhere angry and we do not want to be politically incorrect (the corporation has shareholders all over the world) but we want good people everywhere, including countries where Gleichberechtigung is not selbstverstndlich to understand that either women or men are welcome to apply.

This site from another respected German organization even gives me the feeling that, in Germany at least, the position of the letter "m" and "w" (or "f") may also be important.

The first letter listed may be preferred!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.de.tuv.com/tuev/cms.nsf/wvw_Career_R1

Could I just throw out all these abbreviations and write at the bottom:

"So-and-so is an equal opportunities employer" or

"Women are encouraged to apply" or

"We are an equal opportunity employer" or

"So-and-so is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer" or

"So-and-so is an nondiscriminatory/affirmative action employer"

If so, which of the above is the least dangerous and most widely used around the world? Or is there something else more universal and less likely to offend. I would be interested in answers from everywhere, especially continental Europe, as well as the US or Great Britain.
TIA - Dan
Dan McCrosky
Local time: 07:11
no gender preference
Explanation:
I am looking at an ad right now from Willamette Industries. In small print at the bottom of the ad, they state "EEO/AA/V/D; An Equal Opportunity Employer." I'm not sure, but I'd guess V might have something to do with Veterans, and D with the Disability Act.
However, I think EEO or EOE is a bit more than what you're actually looking for, as it extends much further than gender. Furthermore, I don't know if those terms will be correctly understood in all of the locales these ads will appear. If you can work the words male or female into your ad copy such as "the right man or woman for the job" or "the successful male or female candidate," it might better suit your purposes, although you'd still have the problem with which one to name first.
One other suggestion is to state somewhere in the ad "no gender preference".
HTH, Beth.
Selected response from:

Beth Kantus
United States
Local time: 01:11
Grading comment

Even though I am a die-hard WASP male chauvinist pig American businessperson myself, I am afraid I have to disagree strongly with the last part of yosh's answer:

My feeling is that although business is indeed business, NOT everyone will understand that I do not intend to be gender specific. If I use "m/f", I might be telling some Germans that both men and women are sort of possibly maybe acceptable but that men are preferred, as at the mish-mash TüV site above. When I first saw the "m/w" after the type of engineer being sought, I thought it was some sort of engineering qualification or degree. If I use "m/f", some Italian or Finn might also think it is a qualification or course of study.

More importantly, after seeing first-hand what has been done to women, minority groups and indigenous groups in Southeast Asia, Australia, the Pacific Islands area, the United States and various European countries up to and including today, I believe every step possible to ensure real equal opportunity is a step to be taken.

I gave the customer the choice of the following three alternatives because there appears to be no prescribed phrase here in Germany for an English employment ad:

Mögliche Schlusszeilen:

XXXX AG is an equal opportunity employer

oder

XXXX AG employment decisions are based solely on qualification

oder

There is no gender preference for the filling of XXXX AG positions

I like the second choice followed by Beth's "no gender preference"

Thank you to everyone for your help.

Dan

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
naEqual Opportunity Employer
Parrot
nano gender preferenceBeth Kantus
naBoth women and men are welcome to applyFuad Yahya
namale/female or m/fPro-Japanese
naEqual oppsAgius Language & Translation
naEOEUlrike Lieder
naomit gender reference altogether?
Tom Funke


  

Answers


14 mins
omit gender reference altogether?


Explanation:
If no gender is specified, anyone can apply. It's hard to see how such an omission could be objectionable (or does that mean that I haven't been properly sensitized to the issue?).
Such US stock expressions as "we are an open opportunity employer" are clumsy, almost certainly too obscure to be universally understood, and might also cause some of the enimosity you're referring to.

HTH Tom


Tom Funke
Local time: 01:11
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Fuad Yahya

Pro-Japanese
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17 mins
Equal opps


Explanation:
Hi Dan

Here in the UK, at the bottom of a standard ad, you often see:
XY is an equal opportunities employer.

In fact I have just opened the newspaper now, and in the classifieds I see:
We are an equal opportunities employer / An equal opportunity employer

HTH
Claire

Agius Language & Translation
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:11
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Fuad Yahya

Pro-Japanese
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17 mins
EOE


Explanation:
In US help wanted ads, you'll just find the term EOE (equal opportunity employer) at the bottom of the ad. I would not add affirmative action as that is, in fact, included in EOE (and, as you know, there are some issues involving affirmative action, albeit more on the university level).

For a US audience, I would say to simply use EOE. It's understood, clear, and absolutely p.c. (On the other hand, as a woman, I'd be offended to see a little note saying "women are encouraged to apply".)

HTH!


Ulrike Lieder
Local time: 22:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 28

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Fuad Yahya

Pro-Japanese
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20 mins
male/female or m/f


Explanation:
I understand that we live in a very politically correct society, or at least, everyone tries to be. People are even saying that God is a woman... or that the Bible should be written without genders. I have no idea what this world is coming to... However, in the English business world, it is common practice to put "male/female" to mean both sexes.

However, "female/male" would be even more akward, unless you were putting in an ad for a waitress. I know that I might upset some people by saying this, but what's commonly accepted, is commonly accepted.

I am sure that you will not have a problem, and the only people who will be offended are people with time to waste on the trivialities of life. There are more important issues to tackle, and being politically correct is the least of them. Business is business and people will understand that you do not mean to be gender specific. On the other hand, with additional comments on the bottom, the FACT that you are uncomfortable with the wording might bring even more attention.

Hope this helps.


Pro-Japanese
Canada
Local time: 23:11
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
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1 hr
Both women and men are welcome to apply


Explanation:
If I understand you correctly, the advertisement itself expressly raises the issue of gender by the use of the abbreviations m/w and/or m/f. Your intention is not to introduce the issue, but to present it clearly and unambiguously, free of wrong cultural undertones. If so, I like your conscientious approach.

I would recommend using the simplest possible expression, one that is not culture-specific. Expressions like "equal opportunity" and "affirmative action" make sense only within particular legal systems, so I would avoid these.

I would also not make a statement that would merely encourage women, because that would be presumptuous.

I would not even mention the word "discrimination" or include any hint of any legal implication. That could get you in legal hot water that neither you nor your client needs.

In short, I would avoid any statement that goes beyond what the abbreviations m/w or m/f clearly imply.

Fuad


    personal experience
Fuad Yahya
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 11

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Pro-Japanese
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1 hr
Equal Opportunity Employer


Explanation:
seems the best bet: Its used by the most important international organisms (the UN, the EU, etc). Being sexist isn't just about men or women, after all, there are other minorities who appreciate this kind of political correctness.

Parrot
Spain
Local time: 07:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Fuad Yahya
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2 hrs
no gender preference


Explanation:
I am looking at an ad right now from Willamette Industries. In small print at the bottom of the ad, they state "EEO/AA/V/D; An Equal Opportunity Employer." I'm not sure, but I'd guess V might have something to do with Veterans, and D with the Disability Act.
However, I think EEO or EOE is a bit more than what you're actually looking for, as it extends much further than gender. Furthermore, I don't know if those terms will be correctly understood in all of the locales these ads will appear. If you can work the words male or female into your ad copy such as "the right man or woman for the job" or "the successful male or female candidate," it might better suit your purposes, although you'd still have the problem with which one to name first.
One other suggestion is to state somewhere in the ad "no gender preference".
HTH, Beth.

Beth Kantus
United States
Local time: 01:11
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
Pro-Japanese
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Changes made by editors
Jan 29, 2006 - Changes made by Fuad Yahya:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO
Jan 29, 2006 - Changes made by Fuad Yahya:
FieldOther » Bus/Financial
Field (specific)(none) » Business/Commerce (general)


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