About Us

Inclusive communication experts

Our team draws on many years of experience with conscious, anti-racist, and gender-inclusive communication. Our expertise is grounded in research and informed by real-world experience in coaching, organizational development, marketing, and communication.

The Fairlanguage Team

Michael Martens

Founder and Managing Director

Michael Martens is a co-founder and managing director of Fairlanguage. He advises organizations on all aspects of inclusive communication and the visibility of women and other genders in language. Before Fairlanguage, Michael lead and consulted on digital transformation projects and inspired over 100 different groups in workshops and seminars.

Alexandra Samoleit

Managing Director

Alexandra studied communications and brings over 13 years of experience in consulting companies and organizations on brand, corporate, and crisis communication. As managing director at Fairlanguage she relies on her extensive strategic skills and her expertise in management and executive coaching.

Freddie* Heithoff

Inclusive Communication Consultant

Freddie* has been active in education and training for many years, focusing primarily on topics like gender diversity and trans awareness. Additionally, they are currently in the final stages of a Gender and Queer Studies Master's degree at the University of Cologne and are able to bring the latest research into our work. As a non-binary person, Freddie* offers particular insights into the use of gender-inclusive language (or the absence of it) to workshop participants.

Katha Krämer

Inclusive Communication Consultant

Katha studied literature and gender studies at university, among other things, with an emphasis on language and gender. She worked for several years at a publishing house that focuses on discrimination and has experience in translation, editing, and composition. In workshops, a relaxed atmosphere is important to her, but that doesn't mean avoiding difficult topics. Katha is trans herself and knows from her own experience the many hurdles trans, intersex, and non-binary people face in different contexts. She lives in Berlin and fortunately has a quite decent internet connection.

Powen Shiah

Inclusive Communication Consultant

Powen combines a passion for technology with a critical understanding of how technology is changing modern society. With this knowledge, he has helped many companies - consulting and operational - meet the challenges of marketing in new cultural and linguistic environments. As a child of Taiwanese immigrants and an American who has been living in Germany for several years, Powen brings multi-layered experience with migration and living as a non-white and queer person in various contexts. He volunteers and politically active, and also tries, with some success, to bake American recipes with German ingredients.

Julia Schwarz

Inclusive Communication Consultant

Julia is a sociologist and educator who has been working for many years on post-colonialism, anti-racism, gender, and anti-ableism, both in academic and practical contexts. Julia is also a trainer in political education with a focus on empowerment for children and adolescents, as well as adults. She also consults teams on diversity awareness.

What we stand for

We believe that language shapes reality and our behavior. How we communicate influences our social interactions and society: that why it's important to address discriminatory structures in language.

Not being acknowledged in language means you’re out of sight and out of mind. Being invisible, unvalued, and forgotten leads to being left out of the social structures and professional environments.

We are committed to increasing awareness of inclusive language without being prescriptive or dogmatic. We provide opportunities to how to communicate more consciously – to break down barriers to more authentic, inclusive and effective communication.

Where does the name Fairlanguage come from?

When we founded Fairlanguage, we had many different ideas about how to name the company.

In the end, we decided on Fairlanguage because it expressed what we wanted to create: Making language more fair and equitable.

We believe in a just and diverse society in which all people can participate. Inclusive language is how we are doing our part to achieve this goal.

How fair is "fair"?

We know from our work that it is important to reflect and consider different points of view. This also applies to us and to our company name. fair is an adjective in English and German.

In German, it means respecting the rights of others. That is what we want to convey.

In English it has many meanings, including: following the rules, treating everyone equally, favoring no one.
But in relation to hair and skin, it also the meaning of light (in color).

Although somewhat dated, the word "fair" in English is connected to Eurocentric notions of beauty, to racism, and to colorism (favoring of lighter skin colors).

This is not what we want our company name to convey, and we are aware that the word fair has multiple meanings and definitions. In both English and German, it expresses that we stand for fairness in communication.

Our critical engagement with our name also represents for an on-going learning process for us. It's a reminder that how we use language is multifaceted, and that we must continue to question our biases and how we see the world.

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