The impact of gender bias in the workplace

The impact of gender bias in the workplace

When we discuss workplace discrimination, gender bias is one of those topics we can’t ignore. We’re sure that all companies want to treat men and women equally. Unfortunately, though, in practice, women often don’t benefit from the same opportunities. In many companies, there is still an unfair difference in the way employees are treated. This gender bias often happens unintentionally. It’s a preference or prejudice we hold toward one gender over another.

In companies, gender bias can show up in a number of ways. Perhaps managers favor their same-gender teammates. Or recruiters ask gendered questions in interviews. Often, women also get paid less than men for the same role.

How gender bias impacts the workplace

Gender bias is very common. Research in the US shows that almost half of all women surveyed have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace. We all know that there are far fewer women in leadership positions than there are men. And in some industries, it’s a challenge to find any women for roles at all. This gender bias has a very unwelcome impact on the workplace:

  • Over time, gender bias increases earning gaps and decreases the career prospects of women. It promotes the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions. Women also often receive less constructively critical feedback than men. This has an effect on their growth.
  • Men also suffer from gender bias if they stray too far from the strong masculine stereotype. When men in leadership positions ask for help, they are seen as less competent. And when they ask for parental leave, people see them as poorer workers.
  • Employees who don’t feel welcome and appreciated are more likely to leave. That’s why gender bias often leads to higher turnover rates amongst both women and men. In a time when talent is scarce, this is the last thing you’ll want. 

Overcoming gender bias using Textmetrics

When you value diversity and inclusion, gender bias has no place in your organization. To reach your diversity and inclusion goals, it’s something you have to overcome. It’s the only way to benefit from the advantages of gender diversity. Such as more innovation, creativity and productivity amongst staff. 

You can use the Textmetrics platform to write gender-neutral content. The platform analyzes your content and gives you suggestions for a more gender-neutral tone of voice. And it gives you options for words that appeal to both men and women. Should you use this for job descriptions? Then you’ll end up with job ads that appeal to both men and women. An important first step towards hiring more women and having a more balanced workforce.

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Gender bias in job descriptions—where we stand now

Gender bias in job descriptions—where we stand now

In recent years, it has become clear that companies need to focus more on diversity and inclusion. People of all backgrounds, genders, and ages need to be equally represented in an organization. And they need to have equal opportunities when they apply for a job. Most companies seem to be aware of the urgency of the matter. Which is why most set themselves ambitious diversity and inclusion goals. But despite these efforts, we still see gender bias in recruitment. Especially when we look at job descriptions, a lot remains to be done. Most job ads still have a more masculine tone of voice. They appeal to men, and they discourage women from applying.

Gender bias in recruitment

Some progress has been made when we look at gender bias in recruitment. Companies seem to understand the importance of gender-neutral language. The number of job descriptions with a more masculine tone of voice seems to be decreasing. But not as fast as you would expect it to. There are still quite a lot of industries in which a more masculine tone of voice is common. This discourages women from applying, and as a result, you’ll receive more applications from men. That’s a real shame because a gender-neutral tone of voice can easily change this. Research shows that women are more sensitive to gender-specific language use. This means that writing gender-neutral job descriptions is definitely worth the effort. And it will lead to your company receiving more applications from women.

Use Textmetrics to write more gender-neutral job descriptions

A bias can be difficult to recognize. Therefore, it can also be difficult to avoid. Because what is a “more masculine” tone of voice? At Textmetrics, we offer a platform that helps you to remove gender bias from your job descriptions. It’s very easy to use. You just write your job description and our platform will analyze your words. Does your job ad have a more masculine tone of voice? Then you can use our suggestions to change this to a gender-neutral tone of voice. You’ll end up with a job description that will appeal to both men and women. Women won’t feel excluded any longer. And the number of female hires in your company will go up. An important step toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive company.

​​Want to know more about our Smart Writing Assistant? Click here.

How age bias (and many more) stands in the way of diversity

How age bias (and many more) stands in the way of diversity

Nowadays, diversity is all around us. We live amongst people of different backgrounds, genders, and ages. We know that diversity in the workforce helps organizations grow. On top of that, diverse teams also make better decisions. So, becoming a more diverse company should be a top priority, right? For many companies it is. But for some reason, reaching those diversity and inclusion goals isn’t as easy as many companies think. This is often due to the so-called unconscious bias, like age bias. Outside of our conscious awareness and control, we hold associations that stand in the way of increasing diversity. 

Examples of unconscious bias like age bias

Becoming a more diverse company requires a change of the organizational culture. Obviously, this doesn’t happen overnight. To create a culture where diversity and inclusion are embraced, unconscious bias needs to be eliminated. Here are some examples of unconscious bias that have to be dealt with:

Recruiters often think that hiring people older than 50 is a risk. They are more likely to fall ill, and they aren’t very flexible anymore. Flexible in terms of their willingness to learn new skills, adapt to new technologies, and ability to work shifts.

Women are less ambitious than men. Especially when they have children, women won’t want to work full time anymore. They will want to stay home more to care for their children.

  • Discrimination based on religion

Women who wear a headscarf are very compliant and less suitable for a leadership role.

  • Discrimination based of physical condition

People with an occupational disability require a lot of extra guidance and are less productive.

If recruiters, managers and other staff are afflicted with unconscious bias, it’s hard to increase diversity. Recruiters and managers often unconsciously hire people who are like them. They claim they want a more diverse team. But, unconscious bias prevents this from happening.

Prevent age bias and increase diversity by using Textmetrics

Increasing diversity in a company starts with the recruitment process. So, this is where the impact of unconscious bias needs to be eliminated first. The Textmetrics platform can be a big help here. It promotes inclusive writing. You can use it to write job descriptions that are free of any bias. Your job descriptions have a gender-neutral tone of voice and appeal to men and women alike. And to people of all ages. They have just the right tone of voice to reach everyone in your target group. Exactly what you need to increase diversity.

​​Want to know more about our Smart Writing Assistant? Click here.

Three examples of gender bias in the workplace

Three examples of gender bias in the workplace

Think about your workplace and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you employ as many women as you do men?
  • Do you have as many women in leadership roles as you do men?
  • Do men and women earn equal salaries for the same job?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is ‘no’, that is probably due to gender bias. This is often a form of unconscious or implicit bias. And women are mostly the ones who suffer as a result of it. Gender bias occurs when someone unconsciously attributes certain attitudes and stereotypes to someone. For example, men may be considered more analytical and less emotional. As a result, they have a better chance of being considered for a leadership role.

Gender bias in the workplace is always problematic. Not only because all people deserve equal treatment and chances. But also because gender bias stands in the way of becoming a more inclusive and diverse company.

Examples of gender bias

Gender bias in the workplace takes different forms. Let’s have a look at the three examples below.

1. Gender bias in job interviews

Gender bias starts even before the interview. Recruiters decide who to invite for interviews based on application letters. From research, we know that women get invited less. When they do get invited, they’re often set different interview tasks than men. Men are more frequently given math-based interview tests, while women are given more verbal tests. Women are also more likely to be asked about parental plans and responsibilities. Men rarely have to answer these kinds of questions.

2. Gender bias and the pay gap

The pay gap is real. Women still earn less than men for doing the same job. On average, women earn 17% less than their male colleagues. The differences vary per country. In the US, it’s 21.4%, in Canada, it’s 16.1%, in the UK, it’s 17.9%, and in the Netherlands, it’s 18.9%.

3. Gender bias in job descriptions

Gender bias in job descriptions is not uncommon either. We see a lot of words in job ads that mostly appeal to men. These are words that women don’t identify with. As a result of which, they will refrain from applying. Women want to meet 100% of the qualifications asked for. If they meet less than 100%, they won’t apply. For men, meeting around 60% of the qualifications is enough to apply. You should therefore only list the qualifications that are absolutely necessary for the job. 

No more gender bias in the workplace? Use Textmetrics!

Gender bias is unfortunately still very common and a real problem. Above are just three examples, but we could list many more. To become a more diverse and inclusive company, the gender bias problem has to be tackled. You can use the Textmetrics platform to take the first step. You can use it to eliminate gender bias from your job descriptions. And write job ads with a gender-neutral tone of voice that appeals to both men and women. As a result, more women will apply. And you can answer the first question we asked at the beginning with a ‘yes’.

Want to try Textmetrics? Click here for a free trial!

How to put DEIB as center of your recruitment strategy

How to put DEIB as center of your recruitment strategy

Over the years, conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace have evolved and increased. D&I has become a topic that organizations can’t ignore. It’s likely that you set yourself some ambitious diversity and inclusion goals a while ago. And maybe you’ve even reached some of them already. Recently, though, diversity and inclusion alone have proved not to be enough. So, equity and belonging were added. Put together, we now speak about DEIB. Focusing on DEIB is the only way to create a workplace where all types of people can really thrive.

DEIB and recruitment 

People need to feel equally heard (equity) and really feel like they belong (belonging). To achieve this, DEIB must be at the core of your recruitment strategy. To reach your D&I goals, you probably already focus on hiring people from different backgrounds (diversity). And you do everything you can to make them feel welcome, supported and valued (inclusion). Now let’s see how you put DEIB as a whole at the center of your recruitment strategy:

Form diverse interview panels – This is a very efficient way to reach your DEIB goals. Build a hiring committee with people from different races, ages, religions, and backgrounds. These can be people from all across the organization. It’s a great way to improve your hiring processes, which will become more diverse. It’s also a way to show applicants and current employees how committed you are to DEIB.

Review your job descriptions – Job descriptions play an important role in your recruitment strategy. In order to reach your DEIB goals, job ads need to appeal to everyone. People need to feel motivated to apply, no matter what a person’s background, age, or race is. Have a look at your recent job descriptions. Are they inclusive and free of biases? Do they have a gender-neutral tone of voice? Or do they contain certain words that appeal more to men, for example?

Provide DEIB training – Recruiters and managers involved in recruitment can benefit from some DEIB training. During recruitment, unconscious bias often sneaks in. This bias stands in the way of hiring a diverse group of people. By providing training on this subject, recruiters and managers learn to recognize this bias. This is an important step to implement DEIB in your company.

DEIB and Textmetrics

At Textmetrics, we offer a platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to improve all written communication. You can use it to write gender-neutral job descriptions that are free of any bias. It’s one of the ways to put DEIB at the center of your recruitment strategy. And it’s an important step in becoming a more diverse company. You can also use the platform to create content that appeals to everyone. To create a culture of true belonging.

​​Want to know more about our Smart Writing Assistant? Click here.