Many of us are talking about gender-neutral job descriptions these days. But how about gender-neutral job TITLES?

Gender-biased job titles are so prevalent that Ongig now offers a  job title bias checker in our Text Analyzer software. After all, if you show gender bias in the job title, a candidate might not even read the rest of your job posting.

Note: This article is part of our ongoing series called Job Titles: The Definitive Guide.

Take a look at job boards and news articles and you’ll find that many common job titles still use the word “man” in them. Search Indeed for “salesman” and you’ll find 277 job openings with that title.

A total of 1,140 jobs on Indeed mention “salesman” somewhere in the job description.

Gender-biased titles/language start at a very early age. BYU English professor Delys Snyder says:

“When children hear a job title that has a…m-a-n ending, and you ask them to draw pictures or talk about who’s doing that job, they will pick the one that matches the gender of the word.”

   source: Sexist Job Titles and the Influence of Language on Gender Sterotypes

Here’s a list of 25 everyday job titles that might benefit from gender-neutralization. We suggest an alternative gender-neutral title for each.

Instead of this… Consider this…
1 Anchorman Anchor
2 Assemblyman Assemblyperson
3 Businessman Businessperson
4 Cameraman Camera Operator
5 Chairman Chair, Chairperson
6 Clergyman Minister, Pastor
7 Congressman Member of Congress
8 Construction Man Construction Worker
9 Councilman Council Member
10 Craftsman Artisan
11 Crewman Crew Member
12 Doorman Door Keeper, Door Attendant
13 Fireman Firefighter
14 Foreman Supervisor, Boss
15 Garbage Man Trash Collector
16 Handyman Maintenance Person, Fixer
17 Longshoreman Stevedore
18 Mailman Postal Worker, Letter/Mail Carrier
19 Maintenance Man Janitor, Caretaker
20 Patrolman Police Officer
21 Pizza Man Pizza Person
22 Policeman Police Officer
23 Salesman Salesperson
24 Stuntman Stuntperson
25 Weatherman Meteorolgist


Changing “man”-titles is not going to happen overnight. I know some of the “consider this” alternative titles above are more clumsy to say.

But some employers are already taking action on gender-neutral job titles. Check out “The Marine Corps is making 19 job titles gender neutral”. And gender neutral job titles is such a popular topic that it’s already got its own Wikipedia entry (“Gender marking in titles”).

Note: Thank you to writinghelp-central for many of the gender-neutral job title suggestions. 

I wrote this article about gender neutral job titles because I’m CEO of Ongig, the recruiting platform that boosts quality candidate applications including diversity. Ongig optimizes your diversity recruiting through job description text analysis, job description rewriting, video, branding and much more.

ps: Before I hit “publish” on this, the WordPress blog platform I’m using to write this recommended I replace “salesman” with “sales rep” — how cool is that! Progress!

If you enjoyed this article, you might also check out our articles on the best Sales Titles and Software Titles.

You might also check out these 4 Diversity tools to write more inclusive job titles and job content overall.

Why I wrote this?

We here at Ongig are on a mission to transform your job descriptions to attract the most diverse and top-tier talent. Ongig’s Text Analyzer software removes gender bias and other bias from your entire job description including (of course) your job title. Please request a demo if you’d like to learn more.

by in Diversity and Inclusion