Miss, Mrs., or Ms.?
Did you know that “Miss” and “Mrs.” should not be used in business?
Addressing men in business is clear: John Smith is formally addressed as Mr. Smith. But how should you address women in business?
Women were traditionally addressed based on marital status. Young, unmarried women were addressed as Miss Jones and married women were addressed as Mrs. Jones. These rules are known as social etiquette and were based on age and gender.
As society changed, so did etiquette! How should you address women in business today?
Today we operate under the guidelines of business etiquette, which does not address women based on marital status. In a professional setting, women are formally addressed with the title “Ms.” When using titles, Sally Jones should be addressed as Ms. Jones.
However, formal titles such as Mr. and Ms. are rarely used in business today. In the United States, the general preference is to address people by name only. You must pay attention to how people are introducing themselves and addressing others in a given group. For example, some women still prefer to be addressed as “Mrs.” while other people are offended by the use of any gender-based language. If the goal is to show honor and respect to your colleagues and clients, follow their lead on how they prefer to be addressed. How do you want to be remembered? ™