Spell check for gender bias


Really fascinating tool that checks job descriptions for gender bias:

But it turns out the word “proven” and phrase “under pressure” tend to result in more male candidates, according to an analysis of thousands of job postings and which respondents were invited to interview.

And directive terms like “must” can be intimidating to many job seekers, regardless of gender. If a synonym is used, the analysis shows it will attract more applicants.

That’s according to Textio, a new Web-based tool that’s essentially a spell check for gender bias. You paste in the text of a job posting, and Textio highlights problematic phrasing and makes suggestions to help you attract more — and more diverse — good candidates.

Some of the tweaks are head-scratchingly tiny. Swapping out “exceptional” for “extraordinary” is statistically proven to attract more female applicants. (But while you’re at it, you should also insert “validated” instead of “proven.”)

Another pointer: Having too many listed bullet points often turns women candidates away.

Really fascinating! I think this kind of tool is really interesting - imagine if it became standard to check your job descriptions for gender bias, thus helping to level the playing field and maybe attract more women in to male areas and men in to female areas! There is evidence that women respond differently to job ads, focusing on what they can’t do rather than what they can, so anything that helps to combat problems like that has to be good!



I’m trying to find the link (and failing) that had a word cloud of terms used in references by gender - I’m sure I wrote about that in a recent post. To personally check one’s own writing would be really useful…

I have sent the link to some people at work :slight_smile:



I’d be really interested in whatever is causing the effect this is built on. I understand the general principle that men get considerably more positive reinforcement, and tend to be more competitive, so I get some of these.

What’s the social process that reinforces exceptional rather than extraordinary?



A Reading List on Implicit Bias: Gender
Does what it says on the tin - a great roundup of articles on gender bias. I think some have already been linked to in the forum but there’s defitely some I’ve not seen before.