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.

3 ways to write your job ads at language level B1

3 ways to write your job ads at language level B1

How is the search for new staff going? Do your job ads get enough responses from potential candidates? If not, there might be something wrong with the way you’re writing them. Did you know that 1 out of 8 job ads is too difficult for people to understand? The majority of your target group will stop reading because they can’t make out what you’re looking for. That’s problematic for two reasons. Firstly, you won’t receive many applications. Secondly, it makes it even more difficult to become a diverse and inclusive company. Because that requires job ads that everyone can read and understand. An understandable job ad is one written at language level B1.

3 ways to improve the readability of your job descriptions

The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) distinguishes six different language levels. These are A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. Language level B1 is the one that approximately 60% of readers can understand. To improve the readability of your job ads and write them at B1 level, you need to:

Use short words and sentences – The longer the words and sentences you use, the more difficult they are to understand. That’s why your sentences should have a maximum of 15 to 20 words. It’s also advisable to mix longer sentences with even shorter ones. Words should be short and simple, too. You should avoid jargon and outdated words as well. Very few people understand these.

Use an active tone of voice – A sentence like ‘Your performance will be assessed’ is a passive one. Passive sentences are difficult to read. Therefore, you should always try to use active sentences instead. Here that would be: ‘We will assess your performance’. That is much easier to understand, right?

 Use ‘you’ and ‘we’ in your sentences – In job ads, we tend to use terms like ‘the candidate’ and ‘the company’. By doing so, we use an indirect way of communicating. For readability, it’s better to speak directly to the reader. That’s easier to understand. You can do so by using ‘you’ when you speak about the candidate, and ‘we’ when you speak about yourself. 

Textmetrics is your solution for writing at language level B1

Writing job ads at language level B1 is important for readability. The readability of job ads is important if you want to receive a lot of applications. And if you want to reach your diversity and inclusion goals. Above, we showed you three ways to write your job descriptions at language level B1. You can implement these rules yourself. Or you can use the Textmetrics platform to write readable job ads at the correct level. The platform uses AI algorithms to assess the readability of your job description. And it then gives you suggestions to reach the desired B1 level. It’s as easy as it sounds. Before you know it, the applications will come pouring in.

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

How to foster DEIB?

How to foster DEIB?

Greater innovation, better team performance and increased profitability. These all sound good, right? Just like improving engagement and retention. But what exactly is “doing the right thing”? It means being a company that is committed to DEIB. That is short for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Perhaps you’ve been focusing on diversity and inclusion (D&I) for a while now. DEIB is simply taking it a step further. Are you curious to know how to achieve this? And how can you foster DEIB in your organization? We’ll tell you all about it here.

What is DEIB?

D&I alone is not enough to create a work environment that helps people get the best out of themselves. You’ll need to focus on equity and belonging as well. Equity is about creating fair and impartial opportunities for everyone in your organization. Everyone should be heard equally. Belonging is a feeling that can only be achieved when you’re doing D, E and I right. A true sense of belonging lets people know that whatever makes them diverse is welcomed and celebrated. 

How can you foster DEIB in your organization?

  • Build on your D&I efforts

Is your work environment diverse and inclusive? If so, you can use this as a base upon which to build your DEIB efforts. Because you can never create a true sense of belonging if you’re not diverse, inclusive and equitable. 

  • Take it serious

DEIB is not something you implement overnight. It takes time to reach certain DEIB goals. You need to be intentional about your DEIB efforts. You can do this in several ways: 

  You need to make sure that everyone gets their say in meetings. Even the people who don’t easily speak up. 

  You need to listen to the feedback you receive and take action. Because if you fail to do so, people will feel unheard. That’s not great for equity and belonging. 

  You can stimulate belonging by creating employee resource groups (ERGs). These give employees a chance to meet like-minded people. Together, they can address the needs of underrepresented groups in the workplace.

  • Be accountable 

Most likely, HR and leadership are in charge of the DEIB efforts. They need to be accountable for the progress, too. Progress can be measured in different ways. You can organize a staff meeting or hold a company-wide survey, for example. As long as you encourage everyone to speak up and deliver their input. 

DEIB and Textmetrics

At Textmetrics, we offer a platform that you can use to foster DEIB. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that empower you to improve all of your written communication. You can use it to write job ads that are free of bias. This is an important first step towards becoming a more diverse company. And you can use it for creating content that appeals to everyone. That’s important if you want to foster DEIB throughout your company.

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