Magazine article HRMagazine

Are Your Job Ads Too 'Male-Sounding'?

Magazine article HRMagazine

Are Your Job Ads Too 'Male-Sounding'?

Article excerpt

Business leaders often lament that they don't have many women in management because they get so few female applicants. Now researchers offer one reason why.

Women are less likely to apply for a job when the job description sounds "male," according to a recent study.

Job ads that contain words such as "determined," "assertive," "aggressive" and "analytical" are less appealing to women because such words are linked with male stereotypes.

Researchers from Technische Universität München showed 260 individuals fictional job ads, including one for a training program for potential management positions. If an ad included a large number of traits associated with men, the women found it less appealing and were not as inclined to apply. Words that appealed more to the women included "dedicated," "responsible," "conscientious" and "sociable."

What should HR professionals do about it?

Because the wording of the ads made no difference to the men in the study, employers that want to attract female candidates should strive to include more gender-balanced wording. …

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