1. Many (most?) women -- in my opinion -- would NOT feel insulted if you referred to them as a "waitress," "actress," or "hostess," but I am 99% sure that they WOULD be very upset (unhappy) if you referred to them as a "stewardess" or "poetess."
2. Many nouns in English are already gender-neutral. E.g., [for example] president, teacher, plumber, clerk [sales associate], soldier, etc.