Buzz People

Why do some job adverts put women off applying?

Words matter. And the way we use them in job adverts can dictate whether or not people bother to apply. This is a big problem if you're a business trying to recruit more women and ethnic minorities into your workforce. So can tech help remove these unconscious biases?
A job description that uses the phrase "We're looking for someone to manage a team" may seem innocuous enough.
But research, based on an analysis of hundreds of millions of job ads, has shown that the word "manage" encourages more men than women to apply for the role.
Changing the word to "develop" would make it more female-friendly, says Kieran Snyder, chief executive of Seattle-based Textio, an "augmented writing software" company.
Textio uses artificial intelligence to pore over job descriptions in real time, highlighting any terms that could come across as particularly masculine or feminine. The software then suggests alternatives.
"We don't explain why this or that phrase excludes women," says Ms Snyder. "We just provide the data and the company in question can come up with their own theory on why that sentence doesn't work."
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