Are Your Job Descriptions Gender-Biased? How to be More Inclusive!

Are your job descriptions as effective as they could be? They could include gender-specific words that turn off a large segment of job seekers.

Gender Bais in Job Descriptions?One of the most valuable pieces of advertising in recruitment is the job description.

Everyone agrees that a well-crafted job description is the most crucial tool to access the best-qualified candidates.

However, you might be sending out something that turns off nearly half of all job seekers—and you don’t even know it!

In a recent study, published American Psychological Association, examined more than 4,000 job descriptions. Researchers found that gender-biased language could affect recruitment efforts, especially when trying to hire women for positions traditionally held by men.

Human Resources: Free live ovation demoThe study suggests that job descriptions using traditionally masculine words can deter women from applying, thereby limiting the pool of qualified candidates.

Words with a masculine theme can cause women to believe that they are not wanted, or that they will have a hard time fitting in your corporate culture.

The first way to identify gender bias in job descriptions is by looking for words with a masculine and feminine slant.

The following job descriptions use masculine words, which could lead to a job description bias. These words make the job seem less inclusive to women, and result in fewer female candidates:

  • “We are a dominant firm, which boasts a leading position against the competition.”
  • “Our company needs strong and superior skills, someone who works well in a competitive situation.”
  • Direct teams to manage business progress and ensure control. Regulated compliance with customer objectives.”

In contrast, words with a slightly feminine perspective can make the job description more appealing for women, resulting in higher response rates and a larger pool of candidates:

  • “Our company is a community of employees who have developed relationships with many satisfied customers. We are committed to supporting our consumers.”
  • Proficient in both oral and written communications.”
  • “The ideal candidate collaborates effectively in a team atmosphere. Sensitive to the needs of customers, and will develop relationships with clients.”

For any organization, the bottom line of recruitment is to find the right professional to do the job, regardless of gender. What should matter is if they can get the job done!

You work hard to develop an engaging job description, one that will appeal to the largest group of suitable candidates.

Don’t let a subtle gender bias derail your recruitment efforts!

Published by @philammann

Put. That coffee. Down. Writer/editor/whatever it takes. @margaretj13 is my (much) better half. Website: Email: Twitter: @PhilAmmann

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