How inclusive is a "Scrum Master"?
8 March 2019, as we celebrate International Women's Day today, a thought comes to my mind with the term "Scrum Master" and how inclusive it is? Before I proceed, it makes sense to clarify that the term Master utilised by the Scrum Guide addresses a skilled practitioner of a particular art or activity.
Sadly, our search engines and dictionaries don't do enough justice to this term. The most widely accepted meaning for the word Master as per our favourite search engines and dictionaries still call it "a man who has people working for him, especially servants or slaves"; other meanings include "a male head of a household", "a man in charge of an organization or group", "a male schoolteacher", and "used as a title prefixed to the name of a boy not old enough to be called Mister".
That's definitely not what a Scrum Master means; having said that, it's a Scrum Master and not a ScrumMaster, hence it does leave a wiggle room for misunderstanding. Although I'm nitpicking grammar, I do wish to highlight that may be these minute things need addressing in a bigger cause of social justice. Scrum being one of the most widest of used frameworks can take a stance to support a message.
It has been done in the past and that's the reason we have terms like Daily Scrum and Refinement. Scrum has always been inclusive and sensitive towards the society and that's one of the many reasons why I believe in it. And "Scrum Master" as a term is an icon that personifies Scrum in many ways and its change can be extremely chaotic. Can this change, change the world? Probably not; what it can do is be the model for a bigger change.
Can the "Scrum Master" be called a "Scrum Manager" as describe in a couple of books even by Ken? Can they be called a "Care-Taker" like Gunther addresses himself. Or a Curator, a Leader, a Guide, a Mentor, a Coach, a Messiah for all that matters.
Why not Scrum be a bit more inclusive & sensitive?
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A "Scrum Master" is someone with mastery over Scrum - it's about someone mastering the art of the subject.
Renaming the term "Scrum Master/Mistress" won't make it any more inclusive - if anything, it's pandering to the insensitive needs of those that believe "Master" automatically means "male".
I don't believing in changing a term to address a misconception in society that isn't a problem for Scrum to solve.