Biased Language In Job Descriptions Prove Businesses Still Hire Candidates Based On Gender

A high proportion of ‘male-dominated’ words were included in adverts for sales jobs, while vacancies in social work were targeted towards women

Biased Language In Job Descriptions Prove Businesses Still Hire Candidates Based On Gender

Gender-biased language in job descriptions proves that businesses are still taking a sexist approach to hiring candidates, according to a new study by Adzuna.

Their survey, which analysed a selection of traditionally ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ words over one million job applications, revealed that businesses still consider some jobs more suitable for men and some more suitable for women.

The most popular masculine words, such as ‘lead’ (410,748), ‘active’ (219,468) and ‘competitive’ (202,188), were more prevalent in job descriptions for sales and consultancy positions – while ‘feminine’ words like ‘support’ (519,187), ‘responsive’ (483,428) and ‘understand’(241,741) were more popular in vacancies for social work, nursing and teaching.

When broken down by sector, the tech sector is revealed to use gender neutral language the most – followed by the finance and travel industries.

In terms of regions, London and Northern Ireland have the largest concentration of male-bias adverts while recruiters in the the North East, East and South East are more likely to target female candidates.

Businesses looking for ‘greedy’ candidates are likely to fork out quite a bit for the privilege – with successful applicants expecting to earn an average of £60,000.

In contrast, employers looking for workers with “principles” were only prepared to pay them an average salary of £38,000.

Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, said:

“While the tech industry once again seems to be making great strides and disrupting traditional recruitment methods, some exceptions still exist. In the emerging world of data science. Our research showed both data scientist and data architect roles remain more appealing for the male of the species.

“Unconscious bias may lead to accidental discrimination, but there is no excuse in 2017. It’s time for employers to head back to the drawing board and redesign their recruitment basics in order to keep up with the times!”

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