The Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA) has announced that it’s working with its members and industry trade organisations “to address outdated language and terminology issues increasingly identified as discouraging a spirit of inclusivity within the professional audio community.”
The likes of ‘master/slave’ (in reference to clocking) and ‘male/female’ (in reference to connector topology) are among the terms thought to be questionable. The PAMA has circulated a survey among its members - which include the likes of Audio-Technica, Blue, Sennheiser and Shure - to gather feedback regarding this kind of problematic language.
“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,” explained PAMA Board Chair-Elect and Inclusion Committee member Karam Kaul (Harman). “It comes down to treating each other with respect.”
As a starting point, the PAMA has created a list of recommended neutral pro audio nomenclature. This suggests that ‘master/slave’ could become ‘primary/secondary’, and that ‘male/female’ could become ‘plug/socket’. This is said to be a ‘living document’ that will evolve based on ongoing input from the industry at large.
The PAMA’s initiative has already garnered support, with Karrie Keyes, Executive Director of the women-in-audio advocacy group SoundGirls.org, as well as monitor engineer for Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder, commenting: “Shoutout to PAMA for introducing neutral language for the audio industry. This is a tremendous undertaking and is important to continue working toward meaningful changes in our industry.”
Earlier this year, a successful campaign was launched asking that popular music technology forum Gearslutz change its name. It’s now known as Gearspace.