In recent years, there has been an increasing push for gender-neutral language in all aspects of society, including the workplace. One area where this has become particularly relevant is in job postings. Job postings are often the first point of contact between a potential employee and a company, and the language used in these postings can have a significant impact on who applies and ultimately who is hired. In this article, we will explore the power of inclusive language in job postings and why gender-neutral job postings matter.
Before we dive into why gender-neutral job postings matter, it's important to understand what we mean by gender-neutral language. Gender-neutral language is language that is inclusive of all genders and does not make assumptions about the gender of the reader or listener. This can include using gender-neutral pronouns like they/them instead of he/him or she/her, avoiding gendered language like "chairman" or "waitress," and using gender-neutral job titles like "salesperson" instead of "salesman" or "saleswoman."
One of the main reasons why gender-neutral job postings matter is that they can attract a more diverse pool of candidates. Research has shown that women and other underrepresented groups are less likely to apply for jobs that use masculine-coded language, such as "competitive" or "ambitious." By using gender-neutral language in job postings, companies can signal that they are committed to creating an inclusive workplace and are open to hiring a diverse range of candidates.
Using gender-neutral language in job postings can also help to avoid unconscious bias. Unconscious bias refers to the unconscious assumptions and beliefs that we all hold about certain groups of people. For example, someone might assume that a man would be better suited for a leadership role, even if there is no evidence to support this. By using gender-neutral language, job postings can help to reduce the impact of these unconscious biases and ensure that all candidates are evaluated based on their qualifications and experience.
Using gender-neutral language in job postings can also help to align with a company's values. Many companies today are committed to creating an inclusive workplace and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). By using gender-neutral language in job postings, companies can demonstrate their commitment to these values and attract candidates who share their values and beliefs.
So how can companies ensure that their job postings are gender-neutral? Here are some tips to get started:
Use gender-neutral pronouns like they/them instead of he/him or she/her.
Avoid gendered language like "chairman" or "waitress" and instead use gender-neutral alternatives like "chair" or "server."
Use gender-neutral job titles like "salesperson" instead of "salesman" or "saleswoman."
Avoid using masculine-coded language like "competitive" or "ambitious" and instead focus on the skills and qualifications required for the job.
Consider using software tools that can help to identify gendered language and suggest alternatives.
In conclusion, gender-neutral job postings matter because they can attract a more diverse pool of candidates, avoid unconscious bias, and align with a company's values. By using gender-neutral language in job postings, companies can create a more inclusive workplace and ultimately make better hiring decisions. As we continue to work towards a more equitable and inclusive society, it's important for companies to consider the power of language and the impact it can have on creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace.