October 24, 2021

Unless you have been living under a rock these last few years, you’ll know that using gender-coded words in Job Ads negatively impacts the diversity of qualified candidates that apply for your vacant roles.

There’s no getting away from the fact that language is gendered. There are words that we perceive to be female-typed such as ‘warm,’ ‘team’ and ‘collaborate,’ while others – like ‘leader,’ ‘assertive’ ‘strong’ and ‘aggressive’ – are viewed as being more male-oriented.

Consequently, companies and organisations around the world are turning to gender bias decoders when drafting their Job Ads, so as to attract a diverse pool of applicants and improve their chances of finding and onboarding the best candidates.

Using a gender decoder is a start but it’s not enough. Opportunists’ job boards gender decoders are based on the wonderful Kat Matfield’s binary decoder – which in itself is over 10-years old and has no recent amendments. Are you really looking to make transformational changes to your outdated business practices?

More than this, while removing gender-coded words can help employers attract women to available jobs and help more women get back to work (Covid-19 has disproportionately affected women causing a ‘SHEcession), gender decoders don’t take into account folks from other protected characteristic groups who are equally, if not more, excluded by the Job Ad creation, structure, and content process.

We have a duty to stop sexism from creeping into Job Ads but it is also incumbent upon us to reduce racism, religious discrimination, disability bias, ageism, gender reassignment discrimination, homophobia, maternity and paternity discrimination, and more.

A failure to do so is not only morally wrong: It’s bad for business. Data demonstrates that the more diverse your workforce is, the better your organisation will perform.

Here at Get-Optimal HQ, we have always recognised and championed the importance of a diverse workforce. Only by hiring and developing people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and skills, can companies continue to learn and build inclusive, collaborative, and successful workplaces.

It takes an intentional focus to reduce bias in recruitment processes – using only a gender coder for your Job Ads is the beginning but be careful that it’s nothing more than a tick box exercise.

If you’re ready to make a real and lasting DE&I impact and write and post Job Ads that reduce discrimination against the nine protected characteristics, then you need to be booking a call with Get-Optimal today.

We specialise in mitigating all kinds of bias, in addition to optimising your Ad(s) for SEO, adding empathy (would you apply to this role?), and improving the content and structure in as little as an hour. What’s more, we’re not eye-wateringly expensive like some of these writing-enhancement services!

Working and collaborating with Get-Optimal is about taking control, not giving up control. Make the change, and make the change today.

I look forward to connecting,

Daniel Fellows