Inclusive language

The Bias-Checking Battle: Microsoft Editor vs. Witty Works

Are you tired of unintentionally using biased language in your writing? In this blog post, we compare Microsoft Editor and Witty, two browser plugins that offer writing assistance with grammar, spelling, and bias detection. But when it comes to inclusivity, which one reigns supreme? We put Microsoft Editor and Witty Works to the test.

 

Exploring Microsoft Editor and Witty Works Settings

The setting page of the Microsoft Editor suggests that it checks a wide variety of Inclusiveness, such as age, cultural, and ethnic biases. By default, these settings are turned off.
 
Microsoft Editor settings
In Witty's dashboard, one can choose from over 50 unique biases. Moreover, Witty lets organizations determine the state of learning of their employees by setting a proficiency level. Some organizations may only start with the most obvious slurs in communication. Others may already have more know-how and want to additionally make sure that they prevent the usage of unconsciously biased wording that could deter talents or customers. Each organization can set the level of 'proficiency' for its employees, helping them on the learning path according to their rhythm.
 
 

Microsoft editor and Witty in action

To provide a glimpse of the Microsoft editor in action, here’s an example: it flags rather obvious words like “whitelist” and “blacklist” and suggests replacing them with “an allowed list” or “an accepted list,” citing ethnic bias. Similarly, it recognizes and recommends gender-neutral alternatives for terms like "postman," "spokesman," and "mankind," such as "postal worker," "spokesperson," and "humankind" or "humanity."
 
However, Microsoft Editor falls short when it comes to detecting unconscious biases and stereotypes.
On the other hand, Witty Works goes above and beyond, highlighting and suggesting alternative language for a wider range of biases, making it the clear winner for inclusivity.
 
Let's have a look at concrete examples.
 

 

Example Use Case: Staff-to-staff message

Witty detects 7 bias issues (in orange) in different diversity dimensions

Screenshot 2023-04-24 at 10.52.53-1

Microsoft Editor detects no bias

Screenshot 2023-04-24 at 10.53.27

 

Example: Job description

Witty detects  6 bias issues (in orange) in different diversity dimensions

Screenshot 2023-04-24 at 11.34.06

Microsoft Editor detects no bias issues

Screenshot 2023-04-24 at 11.34.12

 

Example: Internal leadership communication 


Witty detects 12 bias issues (orange) in different diversity dimensions

Screenshot 2023-04-24 at 11.23.21

Microsoft Editor detects no bias issues (ladies -> it’s about the comma; a great addition -> propose terrific addition)

Screenshot 2023-04-24 at 10.54.02

Example: racism-related bias


Witty detects 1 bias issue (orange) in racism-related bias

Screenshot 2023-04-24 at 11.36.22


Microsoft Editor detects no bias issues detected

Screenshot 2023-04-24 at 11.36.16

Get access to our full range of diversity examples by downloading our exclusive PDF. See how we've compared across various dimensions of diversity and gain a deeper understanding of the issue.

Click now to download. It's free!

Download now
 
In addition to that: Witty provides features that the Microsoft Editor doesn't. The Microsoft Editor - like Grammarly - are made for spelling and grammar. Inclusive Language is only a side feature. Witty, on the other hand, was designed with inclusivity in mind and goes beyond just fixing language errors.
  • One of Witty's standout features is its focus on inclusive language and education. In addition to detecting and suggesting alternatives for biased language, Witty also provides "learning bites" that explain the bias behind the flagged word or phrase. Studies show that this type of learning significantly increases awareness of bias and leads to behavior change, not just in writing but in everyday life. It also increases empathy among employees. This means that organizations can save money on costly diversity trainings, as Witty integrates inclusion education directly into its platform. Organizations build inclusive culture scalably and sustainably.
  • Witty lets organizations determine the state of learning of their employees by setting a 'proficiency' level. Some organizations may only start with the most obvious slurs in communication. Others may already have more know how and want to additionally make sure that they prevent the usage of unconsciously biased wording that could deter talents or customers. Each organization can set the level of 'proficiency' for its employees, helping them on the learning path according to their rhythm.
  • Another key feature of Witty is its ability to set language rules and dictionaries for entire teams, ensuring a consistent brand voice. While many organizations have language guidelines, they are often difficult to enforce. With Witty, brand voice is made executable, and language rules are automatically checked against.
  • Witty also offers analytics that give insights into team behavior and biases, while maintaining privacy. Through language, Witty can identify where hidden biases lie and which biased words are frequently used by a team. This provides concrete data to prove the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts and enables organizations to make informed decisions about improving their communication.
  • Lastly, Witty has a unique vocabulary related to job descriptions. And these will become even better by May 2023 when we also add the interpretation of the structure of a job description.
Do you want to measure the impact of inclusive language?

 

Nadia Fischer

CEO & Co-founder Witty Works | Speaker on bias in language and business | Expert business development, sales, product strategy | Evangelist for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Elements Image

Subscribe to our mailing

Stay in the loop with carefully crafted articles about inclusive language and tips to improve diversity & inclusion in the workplace.

Latest Articles

Image GenAI: Uproar over diverse images in Gemini questionable

Image GenAI: Uproar over diverse images in Gemini questionable

Google's Gemini faced backlash for diverse AI-generated images, including people of color as US founding fathers, sparking debate over hist...

Ethics Board 2024 Update

Ethics Board 2024 Update

As we kick off the new year, I am excited to share the progress made by the Witty Works ethics board throughout 2023.

Clash of Company Needs? Large Language Models (LLM) vs. Inclusive Language

Clash of Company Needs? Large Language Models (LLM) vs. Inclusive Language

Delve into the world of Large Language Models: Balancing cutting-edge efficiency with the imperative for inclusivity and bias-free communic...