How inclusive is a "Scrum Master"?

Updated: Jun 28

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 organisation or group", "a male school teacher", 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 "Caretaker" 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?


If you support these views as well, then don't forget to vote my request on the user voice section of the Scrum Guide: https://scrumguide.uservoice.com/forums/241958-general/suggestions/37055347-how-inclusive-is-a-scrum-master


How inclusive is the term "Scrum Master"? - what do you think?

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© Vishal Prasad. Don't steal or steal like an artist, with attribution.