Do you have a diversity recruiting project to hire more women? Check out this fascinating list of 49 “feminine-coded words” that I saw when perusing the Gender Decoder project of Kat Matfield.

Her work is inspired by an article published in the American Psychological Association called Evidence That Gendered Wording in Job Advertisements Exists and Sustains Gender Inequality — the article contains a handful of studies by researchers Danielle Gaucher and Justin Friesen of University of Waterloo and Aaron Kay of Duke.

Not surprisingly, many job descriptions are written to appeal more to men then women.

Here is the list of 49 words that you could use in your job descriptions to better appeal to women (note: some words are truncated as they are the roots of multiple words (e.g. the first word in the list (agree) is the root of “agreeable”, “agreeing”, etc.).

  • agree
  • affectionate
  • child
  • cheer
  • collab
  • commit
  • communal
  • compassion
  • connect
  • considerate
  • cooperat
  • co-operat
  • depend
  • emotiona
  • empath
  • feel
  • flatterable
  • gentle
  • honest
  • interpersonal
  • interdependen
  • interpersona
  • inter-personal
  • inter-dependen
  • inter-persona
  • kind
  • kinship
  • loyal
  • modesty
  • nag
  • nurtur
  • pleasant
  • polite
  • quiet
  • respon
  • sensitiv
  • submissive
  • support
  • sympath
  • tender
  • together
  • trust
  • understand
  • warm
  • whin
  • enthusias
  • inclusive
  • yield
  • shar

Note: If you want to see how your job description stacks up for recruiting women (or men), you can paste the JD text into Kat’s Gender Decoder app.

If you are interested in new diversity recruiting strategies, I’ll be writing a couple of new articles on the subject in coming months.

What are YOUR thoughts on these words to attract female candidates?

Rob Kelly

Co-Founder and CEO at Ongig
Ongig is the video job description platform that helps you attract the best talent faster. Ongig supercharges your job descriptions through video, images, and other media along with live chat, social sharing, and careers microsite creation. Early clients of Ongig include Yelp, GoDaddy, Verizon Digital and Autodesk.

by in Diversity Recruiting