Gender bias is a hot topic! There is an absolute movement right now to attract more women in the workplace. Check out these 3 recent news stories:
- California became the first state to require that public companies have at least 1 woman on their board of directors
- Catalyst (the non-profit) launched #BiasCorrect as a gender neutral writing plug-in for Slack to “tackle unconscious bias in the workplace”
- The 600th CEO signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge
My experience with gender bias is in the job description writing tools we’ve created here at Ongig.
If you want to attract more women with your words, here are 5 things to look for in a gender-neutral writing tool (I use Ongig’s Text Analyzer of real anonymized job descriptions to show you what I believe is most important):
1) Gender Neutral % and Score in Dashboard
Gender neutral writing tools begin with a dashboard. What you’re looking for here are the basics:
- Gender bias % of all your job descriptions
- Gender Bias by department and location
This helps you zoom out and figure out where the bodies are buried.
2) Identify Gender-Biased Words
Your gender neutral writing tool then needs to highlight the masculine and feminine words (e.g. masculine words are highlighted below).
There should be a gender neutrality score that you see for each job description.
3) Recommend Synonyms for Gender-Biased Words
Your gender neutral writing tool should then suggest synonyms for your biased words. In the job description below, the word “drive”is highlighted as a masculine word.
You’re then going to want to see gender-neutral synonyms suggestions next to those biased words.
4) Real-Time Gender-Neutral % Updates!
When you swap in gender-neutral words, a writing tool like Ongig should update your gender neutrality score live.
You should clearly see (we do it in score formats) when you’ve achieved a goal of no longer being masculine-biased.
The 100 score below along with the green icon of a woman tells you that this job is now gender-neutralized.
5) Highlight Gender Bias that Requires a “Replace All”
Finally, there are some gender-biased words that might need to be replaced throughout your organization (not just one at a time).
Check out below.
In this case, Ongig’s Text Analyzer caught the term “salesman” in multiple job descriptions at a single organization. Talent Acquisition/diversity leadership can now decide to replace “salesman” with “salesperson” and Ongig will replace all instances of it.
For more tips on writing job descriptions, check out How to Write a Job Description — Best Practices & Examples.
Why I wrote this?
I love content. And part of loving content is to make sure that it’s optimized for the customer/candidate. Check out Ongig’s Text Analyzer tool helps you eliminate gender bias in job descriptions.