Our word of the year 2017 has been on everyone’s lips










Every year the big hitters of the literary world choose their word of the year.

Collins has picked ‘fake news’ (yes, we know it’s two words) for 2017 following a huge 365% uptake in usage during the year, thanks mainly to Donald Trump, who used it describe any story he didn’t like. And that was quite a lot.

Dictionary.com has gone for another word that’s been used a lot in US politics this year: ‘complicit’. As well as politics, this word could also be used about the recent scandals in Hollywood and elsewhere as it’s perfect for describing those who knew about what was happening, but chose to turn a blind eye.

The Oxford Dictionary has yet to reveal its choice, but its 2016 word of the year was ‘post-truth’ – another word steeped in politics. 2017’s word is bound to be something as interesting.

Now. On to our word of the year. It’s also associated with politics and current events.

Just Libra’s word of the year for 2017 is ‘equality’.

We’ve gone for this word as 2017 can be seen as a bit of a watershed year for equality, and it’s been put right at the centre of the nation’s consciousness thanks to the exposing of the pay gap at the BBC, where its male presenters and actors were shown to earn considerably more than their female counterparts. The story dominated the media and led to a group of high-profile female stars at the organisation writing to their bosses to demand why they were paid less.

The BBC has pledged to get its house in order for 2018, and it’s thought the gap will close, even if it’s more likely that its male stars will end up being paid less rather than the females ending up with significantly more.

Now – on to the Hollywood sex scandal. And it’s here where the lack of equality has really been shown up, not only between men and women, but also between those who held the power and those who didn’t. The powerful movie producers, film directors and established actors involved were allowed to get with it for so long because no-one felt strong enough to act until now. Hopefully the film industry will be a much more equal place to work for both women and men now the balance of power has shifted.

Closer to home, the BBC (again) and Westminster have both been hit by their own allegations of inappropriate behaviour, mostly by men in positions of power against women. This has lead to a cross-party code of conduct being set up in Westminster, and those accused being investigated, sacked or suspended at both organisations. Another small victory for equality.

Equality will rightly stay under the microscope as we move into 2018. The events of this year will force all employers and organisations to really focus on it. The law will force them too as any company with 250 or more employees will have to publish their gender pay gaps by next April or face action. Actual salaries won’t be shown – just the average male and female pay in the organisation. Those with a gap will then be asked to publish an action plan to show how they’ll fix the issue.

So that’s our word of the year for 2017: equality. We hope it’ll be the word on everyone’s lips for 2018 too. For all the right reasons this time.