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Home Employers Unconscious Gender Bias in Job Adverts and How to Fix It
Unconscious Gender Bias in Job Adverts and How to Fix It

Unconscious Gender Bias in Job Adverts and How to Fix It


Unconscious gender bias quietly presents itself in the corners of our minds, shaping our perceptions, decisions, and actions without us even realising it. It stealthily creeps into every facet of our lives, and one such area where its presence is often felt is in job advertisements. Job adverts can contain subtle cues that unconsciously discourage certain groups of applicants, like women or individuals from underrepresented groups.

Picture this: A job listing employing language traditionally linked to masculinity, like “aggressive” or “competitive,” subtly discourages female candidates from stepping forward. Likewise, the use of gender-specific pronouns, such as “he” or “she,” inadvertently pushes away potential applicants from underrepresented communities. This issue runs deep, requiring vigilance and change to ensure fairness and inclusivity in every job opportunity.

In today’s blog, we discuss unconscious gender bias examples. Also, offers tips for addressing it and explores the immense advantages of a diverse workforce.

Impact of gender bias

Gender bias has a significant impact on applicants and hiring. Biassed job adverts draw an unrepresentative applicant pool, robbing workplaces of diversity and inclusion, and hurting everyone – employees and the organisation alike.

The bias doesn’t stop there; it infiltrates hiring. Studies reveal that hiring managers often favour those who resemble them, perpetuating inequality. Let’s break this cycle for a fairer world.

Resulting in a lack of objective decision-making and can lead to biased hiring decisions.

Common examples of unconscious gender bias in job adverts

Gendered language: Traditionally associated language with one gender or another, like “manpower” or “gentlemen,” can create an unconscious bias against candidates of the opposite gender. Using gender-neutral language, “talent” or “individuals,” can help to avoid this bias.

Unrealistic job requirements: Unrealistic job adverts deter qualified candidates, like “must be able to lift 50 pounds” or “must have a degree in a specific field,” can discourage qualified candidates from applying.

Visual cues: Gendered images or symbols in job adverts, can create unconscious bias. Using neutral images or symbols can help to avoid this bias.

Lack of diversity: Job adverts with let’s say only white male examples can deter diverse candidates. Diverse examples create inclusive adverts.

Aware of these common examples of unconscious gender bias in job adverts.

Tips for writing gender-neutral job adverts

Focus on qualifications: Instead of emphasising gender in the job advert, focus on the qualifications and skills required for the job. Attractive for a diverse pool of candidates and helps you find the best person for the job.

Avoid stereotypes: Avoid using stereotypes in the job advert. Women are better suited for certain roles or men are more competitive is common examples we see more often. It is Discouraging for qualified candidates to apply.

Use inclusive language: language that welcomes candidates from all backgrounds, such as “We welcome candidates of all genders, races, and ethnicities.”

Get feedback: Before posting the job advert, get feedback from a diverse group of people to ensure that it is inclusive and welcoming to all candidates.

Benefits of having a diverse workforce

Enhanced Creativity & Innovation: A diverse team, with varied backgrounds and perspectives, fuels boundless creativity and innovation as fresh ideas and ways of thinking emerge.

Improved Problem-Solving: Different backgrounds bring diverse problem-solving approaches.

Superior Customer Service: A diverse workforce excels in understanding and serving a varied customer base.

Boosted Employee Engagement: It fosters employee engagement, fostering a sense of value and inclusion, spurring commitment.

Enhanced Reputation: Diversity uplifts an organisation’s reputation, as society seeks diversity and inclusion champions.

Taking these steps ensures inclusive, unbiased job ads, attracting diverse, qualified candidates, and forging an equitable workplace. Employers must take action, eradicating unconscious gender bias, championing inclusivity for all.

Key Takeaways:

Employers bear the important responsibility of crafting job adverts that uplift inclusivity, devoid of any unconscious gender bias. Our blog imparts vital lessons:

  • Gender-Neutral Language: Use words that transcend gender, ensuring fairness in your ads.
  • Qualifications-Centric: Direct your spotlight on qualifications, for they are the true measure of competence.
  • Stereotypes: Break free from the grip of stereotypes; let each applicant stand as an individual, not a caricature.
  • Feedback is Gold: Seek feedback from diverse voices; it’s the compass guiding you towards impartiality.
  • Inclusive Language: Words that welcome all, regardless of gender, race, or background, should be your lexicon.

In these takeaways lies the power to revolutionise your job adverts, to summon a world where everyone, regardless of gender, feels a fair chance awaits. Employers, it’s your moment to champion the cause of equality and inclusivity.


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