When I use the term "house cleaner" in a translator (deepl, google) it will translate house cleaner with "femme de ménage". I'm looking for a cleaner, be it male or female or otherwise, and I don't want to use such sexist language. What is the gender neutral way to say this?


3 Answers 3


You can use the generic personne :

Je cherche une personne pour s'occuper du ménage chez moi.


I remember this being a point of discussion already during my first years in France, in the 1990s, and the consensus back then was that no term existed for men who did this job. Since then, however, femmes de ménage no longer work predominantly either as independent contractors or for small cleaning outfits, but are instead very often employed by large home services companies. From what I have seen, such businesses tend to use either or both of the following terms for their cleaning staff:

  • assistant(e) ménager(ère)
  • intervenant(e) à domicile

In other words, I haven't been able to find any single, neutral, term to refer to this profession. This is therefore one of those cases where the only realistic option is to use what is called écriture inclusive, namely to write the gender options out in formats such as étudiant·e or avocat(e).

Unfortunately, the first of the two terms above becomes more than a little awkward in écriture inclusive. The other one is more manageable, but also the one that is used less.

  • Thanks. It is not clear to me what "écriture inclusive" means here, perhaps you could expand on it?
    – Kvothe
    Sep 14 at 14:59
  • Yes, will edit.
    – Segorian
    Sep 14 at 15:16
  • 1
    Although assistant ménager exists, and sometimes used by employment agencies, it seems to me that aide ménager(ère) is more common.
    – None
    Sep 17 at 7:14
  • @Kvothe "écriture inclusive" would be worth its own question. There is too much about it to fit in comments. Oct 1 at 14:09

You could use "agent d'entretien à domicile".

"Agent d'entretien" is the usual label for companies (for whom it isn't politically correct to use a sexist label, even if most of the population is still using it), and that use made it so that this gender-neutral term got progressively associated with "people who do cleaning for companies".

By adding "à domicile", you clarify that you are not a big corporation and just want someone to come at your home to do some cleaning.

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