Leontien Rutenfrans

Marketing ManagerTextmetrics
September 15, 2023

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Four ways to encourage more women to apply to your jobs

Gender diversity in the workplace has numerous benefits. But to build a well-balanced workforce, women need to actually apply to your jobs. You may have noticed – that getting women to apply to your jobs seems trickier to accomplish than you probably thought it would be. The fact is that in many companies, the number of female applicants is a lot lower than that of male candidates.

The great culprit is gender bias in job ads. Even when the recruiter is a woman, job vacancies often appeal more to men than they do to women. And if women don’t feel spoken to, it’s hard to motivate them to apply. The results are crystal clear: fewer women apply, and you might miss out on the ideal candidate for your job.

There are a number of things you can do to eliminate gender bias in job ads. We’ll discuss four of them below.


1. Use the right words

Gender bias is a so-called unconscious bias. This means that you don’t exclude women on purpose. It just happens. One thing many of us unconsciously do when we write job ads is use words with a more masculine tone of voice. Words such as “competitive,” “assertive,” “leader,” “expert,” “decisive,” “active,” and “objective.” These words can discourage women from applying.

Instead of using these masculine words, you could opt to choose a more gender-neutral tone of voice. Or you could add more female-focused words like “together,” “support,” “dependable,” “community,” “responsible,” “empathic” and “communicate” to balance them out.


2. List the must-have criteria

Of course, the perfect candidate ticks all the boxes on a long list of skills and requirements. But the longer the list, the fewer female applicants will apply. Because women tend to only apply to a job when they meet 100% of the criteria or very close to 100%. For men, meeting 60% of the listed requirements is enough to send out their application. So, if you don’t want to scare women away, it’s important to only list the must-have criteria.


3. Include the right benefits

Applicants love to hear what benefits you have to offer them when they come and work for you. But men and women often value different things. To attract more women, you should focus on things like learning on the job, a good work-life balance, and flexible working.


4. Stress the importance of diversity

Before potential candidates apply, they usually try to imagine whether they would be a good fit for your company. To discover that, they look for information on your company culture. It’s advisable to stress how important diversity is in your company. One way to do that is to ask women who already work with you to record a video in which they explain why you’re such a great company to work for.


Use Textmetrics’ Smart AI Writing Software to prevent gender bias

Of everything we mentioned above, avoiding gender bias in your job ads by using the right words is probably the most difficult thing to do. Unconscious bias is just very hard to overcome.

Textmetrics’ Smart AI Writing Software can help you out here. It analyzes what you’ve written for several content-related issues, such as readability, credibility, and target audience, and gives you suggestions for improvements.

These checks ensure your job ads have a neutral tone of voice without any bias. You’ll end up with a job vacancy that appeals to women just as much as it does to men. And you’ll never miss out on a qualified female candidate again.

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