Article: Want to hire women professionals? Don't use these words in JDs

Diversity

Want to hire women professionals? Don't use these words in JDs

Most of the recruitment managers don't even realise that the words they have so diligently crafted to attract the top talent (men and women), those words are not in-sync with what women actually look for in a position they want to work for.
Want to hire women professionals? Don't use these words in JDs

Are you sure your Job Descriptions are not gender-biased? According to a Study, women do not feel the need to apply for positions which have words like ‘analytical’, ‘ambitious’, ‘independent’, ‘determined’ in your job descriptions. 

Says Sangeetha P, Senior Associate at a law firm in Bangalore, “There are times that I have rejected a job and felt disinterested after going through profiles which wrote extensively on characteristics which somehow depicted I need certain ‘men-like skills’ to even apply for the position. Maybe, they don’t even know that these words have a negative meaning for women.”

Yes, she pointed it right. Most of the recruitment managers don’t even realise that the words they have so diligently crafted to attract the top talent (men and women), those words are not in-sync with what women actually look for in a position they want to work for. 

So what are those words which have negative connotations for women? 

So when you are writing the JD, refrain from using the following words.

  • Active 
  • Adventurous 
  • Aggressive 
  • Ambitious/Ambition
  • Analytical
  • Assertive
  • Autonomous
  • Decisive
  • Determined 
  • Dominant/Dominating
  • Independent
  • Lead
  • Ninja
  • Objective
  • Outspoken
  • Rock Star
  • Superior

 These words are in nature indicate ‘men’ are the ones who will be able to do the job well. These words turn away women from applying in those positions. From historical point of view, and especially how people view certain jobs, determined, dominating are very male words. Historically there are references which say a man has to be dominant to pursue a certain skill, while a woman needs to be docile. This factor has transcended in today’s workforce unintentionally – something that the society and most organizations over the world is trying to fix. There has been a conscious effort to get rid of the gender biasness that exists at workplace. So being ‘aggressive’ might refer to the strong side of one’s persona, but to some it might also mean coercing to believe that the person’s opinion is the last opinion. Word like ‘outspoken’ might mean to be gregarious to some, but many consider this as a redundant skill and this ‘outspokenness’ will drown out every other team member with regard to opinions, and also will make hasty comments on people. 

The 2011 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study includes a list of words had positive vibrations from female candidates. 

The words which might be of used instead:

  • Connect
  • Considerate 
  • Commit
  • Cooperate
  • Depend 
  • Honest
  • Interpersonal 
  • Loyal
  • Pleasant
  • Polite 
  • Responsible
  • Support 
  • Together
  • Trust
  • Understand

So next time you are preparing to hire a top talent irrespective of gender, then do consider the above words in the Job Descriptions. Your gender parity at workplace might get the positive start it needs!

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Topics: Diversity, Recruitment

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