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How to Explain Gender Neutral Job Descriptions to Your Boss

Do you ever review your candidate pool and wonder why many of the applicants look the same? You might be, unknowingly, advertising jobthat appeal to one group over another. It’s never a good idea to limit your talent pool. To appeal to the most people, you need gender neutral job descriptions 

It’s time to make a change in the way you lure talent. If you get pushback from leadership or your colleagues, explain to them the benefits of removing gender bias from position profiles. These are some statistics to note 

  • According to Zip Recruiter, “job listings with gender-neutral wording get 42% more responses.”  
  • A survey from LinkedIn found, “women are 16% less likely than men to apply for a job they’ve viewed, often because they feel that they’re not 100% qualified for the role.”  
  • Research from McKinsey demonstrates the value of a gender-diverse workforce.  “Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”  

Once you get buy-in from your team, focus on removing gender bias from your jobs. Use these simple steps.  

Start with an internal review

Take a look at the numbers across your entire company. Analyze the gender split by position and seniority-level. What trends do you observe? Perhaps females dominate leadership positions or males make up seventy percent of all employees. Once you have a clear picture of your organization’s makeup, leadership determine goals and priorities for future hiring.  

Look in the mirror

Review the “Careers and “About” pages on your website. Do a social media audit. What impression do you want potential applicants, clients, and partners to have about your company?  

Think about the way you present your people and your values. homogenous picture of your staff might dissuade potential applicants. The next time you bring in a photographer, make sure a variety of employees participate in the photoshoot and share those images. Also, consider including your commitment to diversity and inclusion on a page that describes what it’s like to work at your company.  

Tell a different story

Once you’ve done your audit, think about new ways to present your values and people. Showcase employee testimonials on your website. Let those who have succeeded tell their journey with your organization. This can be shared on social media, too. Show the many different faces that work at your company, across all positions and seniority levels. Consider using video to bring these stories to life.  

Write gender neutral job descriptions

Do you want to cast the widest possible net when it comes to finding top talent? Remember, ZipRecruiter found listings with gender-neutral language got 42% more applicants mean more opportunities to find the candidate that will drive growth within your organization.

There are several ways to eliminate gender bias from job postings. 

  1. Use gender-neutral pronouns. Instead of saying “He will lead all digital marketing efforts,” use you or they/them. Now potential employees can envision themselves in the role.  
  2. Don’t include too many requirements. Research found, “Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.”  
  3. Consider limiting the types of educational requirements. For example, some educational degrees are heavily populated by men or women.   
  4. Reduce your usage of gendered language. According to Forbes, “Consider the word ninja, which increasingly appears in job descriptions in high tech... While the word may make the job sound exciting, it may also dissuade women from applying, as society tends to regard “ninja” as masculine.” Read this for more on gendered language.  
  5. When in doubt, use a tool like Textio or TapRecruit to analyze the language in each posting and identify potentially decisive verbiage 

Who are you? 

Review your organization’s mission and values. Do your hiring practices match these intentions and goals? If not, you can modify the way you target potential employees by rethinking the way your organization positions itself. A little effort into writing gender neutral job descriptions will bring in more candidates.  

If you need help crafting an inclusive recruiting strategy, contact us. We can help.