Leontien Rutenfrans

Marketing Manager Textmetrics
april 1, 2022

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What is gender bias?

Bias comes in many forms and causes us to form prejudices against others. It helps us categorize things to make sense of the world around us. But although it’s common, biases aren’t harmless. In the workplace, for example, gender bias is a very common problem. It’s the tendency to prefer one gender over another. Most of the time, companies and recruiters prefer men to women. We’re not saying this is a conscious choice, but it’s also not the most deliberate choice either. Believe me, it’s also YOUR loss!

Gender bias is often a form of unconscious or implicit bias. It happens when someone unintentionally attributes certain attitudes and stereotypes to someone else. For example, men may be considered more analytical and less emotional. As a result, they have a better chance of being hired when these skills are required. Yep, that’s completely unfair!


Gender bias in the workplace

Gender bias is often seen as a preferential treatment that men receive. That’s because in the workplace, it works mostly in men’s favor. Gender discrimination is experienced by 42% of women at work. 90% of senior leaders are men, while only 25% of the CEOs are women. Should we be ashamed? Yes, maybe we should. Numbers don’t lie!

Gender bias starts from as early as the recruitment strategy. Both male and female managers are twice as likely to hire men. In blind applications, women are 25-46% more likely to be hired for a job. That’s not cool! This shows how difficult it is for women to get invited for a job interview. It’s sad that it’s true, but companies are missing out on some absolute GIRL POWER in even more ways. Unconsciously, recruiters also tend to place job descriptions on platforms that are predominantly used by male candidates and often, they actively approach men through ads on social media. 

We also see gender bias in job descriptions. Unconsciously, a lot of job descriptions contain words that mostly appeal to men. These are words like dominant, confident, analyze, decisive, strong and outspoken. Many women don’t feel spoken to by these words. As a result, they will refrain from applying. Another thing we know is that women want to meet 100% of the qualifications asked for. If they don’t, they won’t apply. Men will apply if they have around 60% of the qualifications. This should be taken into account when you write a job description. OK, it would be nice if someone likes to play table soccer as well, but you might as well only list the qualifications that are absolutely necessary.


Use Textmetrics to eliminate gender bias from the recruitment process

Gender bias is a pain in the ass. It’s a serious problem, because men are statistically more likely to get preferential treatment in the recruitment process. To be a successful company, you need both men and women in your workforce. If you fail to achieve this, you’ll NEVER be a diverse and inclusive company. But hey, listen, it’s your time to turn this around! Since gender bias starts as early as in the recruitment process, you should begin by tackling it right then and there.

Let’s battle for gender equality with the Textmetrics platform. It’s a great (or maybe even the very best) way to get started. You can use it to avoid gender bias in your job descriptions and write job descriptions with a gender-neutral tone of voice. These will appeal to BOTH men and women. As a result, women won’t feel excluded any longer, and the number of female hires in your company will go up. It’s an important first step toward eliminating gender bias from your workplace.
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