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PAMA Releases Inclusive Terminology Guidelines

The Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance has released recommended guidelines for inclusive, neutral nomenclature in professional audio.

pama logoLemoyne, PA (July 8, 2021)—The Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA) has released recommended guidelines for inclusive, neutral nomenclature adoption in professional audio, addressing outdated language and terminology that discourages a spirit of inclusivity.

“The goal of this project is to introduce and create normalcy around neutral language in the audio industry,” Dawn Birr of Sennheiser, PAMA Inclusion Committee member, said. “As we all strive for continuous improvement in our work, personal lives and society, often it’s the small steps that get us to our goals. We hope that by taking these actions we can begin making meaningful change happen over time.”

PAMA circulated a survey throughout PAMA membership companies to gather feedback regarding problematic language, such as master/slave in clocking references and eliminating male/female in reference to connector topology. The survey also solicited input on alternate, neutral terminology. The resulting document, “PAMA Recommendations for Neutral Nomenclature in Pro Audio,” can be downloaded at

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Harman’s Karam Kaul, PAMA’s board chair-elect and Inclusion Committee member, said, “PAMA member companies have committed to seeing this initiative through in their individual documentation and communication, thoughtfully applying these guidelines.” The document will continue to evolve with ongoing input from the industry at large.

“The intent is for PAMA members to recommend adopting a framework within their organizations for the implementation of unified terminology across the industry, in the spirit of inclusivity and consistency,” Kaul said. “It comes down to treating each other with respect. PAMA is working in collaboration with Audinate and a few other member organizations, using an Audinate framework as a starting point, with additional added elements such as addressing the replacement of gender identification of connectors with the neutral designations plug/socket.” The result is a list of suggested terms to replace current terminology.

“Shoutout to PAMA for introducing neutral language for the audio industry,” Karrie Keyes, executive director of the women-in-audio advocacy group, and monitor engineer for Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder, said. “This is a tremendous undertaking and is important to continue working toward meaningful changes in our industry.”