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Posted on 20 May 2020 In Diversity

In the job market, there are terms that lend job advertisements towards biased interpretations. Although this is almost never on purpose, using potentially bias language in a job advertisement doesn’t help to ameliorate gender disparity in tech fields. There are certain phrases or words that subconsciously target men or women looking for jobs, and if you aren’t careful, you might unknowingly dissuade a great candidate from applying. But have no fear, there’s finally a tool that will outline gendered wording so you can.

Decoding Gendered Language

Based on a paper published by Duke University and the University of Waterloo, there are very specific words and phrases that are gender coded. In recent years, there’s been a lot of heavy discussion over gender targeted job descriptions and job postings. But lo and behold, in response to the need for a tool that will help recruiters create gender neutral job advertisements, Kat Matfield developed just that.


With Matfield’s business application, it’s simple. Recruiters take the copy and paste it into the word box in the Gender Decoder for Job Ads. Next, click check this ad. The result is a list of masculine words, a list of feminine words and to which your job ad leans. It’s a straightforward recruitment tool that’s easy to use and understand.

Reduce gender bias in job ads with a straightforward recruitment tool that’s easy to use & understand.

Do You Need the App?

A particularly hot topic for tech job seekers and organizations looking to hire tech-savvy candidates, it couldn’t hurt to take some extra steps towards gender neutrality in job postings. However, taking matters into your own hands without some impartial intervention can be just as disastrous. Wendy M. Williams and Stephen J. Ceci, Co-Directors of the Cornell Institute for Women in Science have made some interesting discoveries in their latest study.

Female candidates are now twice as likely to be chosen as equally qualified men in STEM fields.

Without a system of checks and balances, striving to reach diversity initiatives can easily stray to the other side of inequity. As the saying goes, there is such thing as too much of a good thing; likewise, a heavy-handed action in compensating for gender bias won’t necessarily level the balance.

Prevent Biased Wording

The Gender Decoder for Job Ads created by Matfield is only one of the many ways you can prevent biased language in your job postings. There are innumerable articles by thought leaders across the globe that give details on how to eliminate partisan wording from job description to job advertisements.

The real task isn’t necessarily finding the tools to prevent that language for you; as the recruitment team bends towards the demands of the company and the desires of candidates, they need to be aware of the trends in their job postings. That’s where a tool like our Big Data Analytics Suite comes into play. Within the platform:

“BDAS’s dashboards allow employers to view vacant and filled jobs, groups of jobs, candidate diversity, market data and the performance of individual hiring managers and recruiters. 

The diversity feature has it’s own user interface, so you and your team have the ability to understand – and more importantly –change behavior based on the visual and actionable data it provides.

Give your team the ability to understand & change behavior with diversity hiring efforts. Here’s how: 

Don’t let the fear of potential bias language steer you in the wrong direction. As the gender study mentioned above showed, you have to help level the playing field for male and female candidates; you simply can’t switch sides in the event of a diversity emergency. With the right tools, however, you have the ability to change your recruitment story. Sometimes all it takes a simple application or a robust data aggregator to start reducing bias in your job ads.

Change for a gender neutral workforce starts with step one, and that’s Broadbean.


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