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Listen: hidden bias in job adverts

13th January 2021
Posted by Aston Avery

With the job market changing dramatically over the last 12 months and the pandemic opening the job pool substantially for new career routes, 55% of women aged 18-55 are considering the possibility of a new career because of the pandemic.

However, when it comes to job advertisements the language used plays a crucial role in women not applying for certain roles according to new research by Openreach.

Making subtle tweaks to the language of a job advert so that it uses consciously unbiased job specifications, showed 50% of women were more interested in the job role described.

Together with linguistic specialists Linguistic Landscapes, Openreach crafted two job descriptions for their entry level engineering role. A traditional one and a new one where the language was designed to appeal to both men and women, whilst actively combating some of the challenge‚Äôs females face in the pre-application phase.

Aston spoke to Dr Chris Begeny, academic expert in gender bias at Exeter University to discuss the importance of language in recruitment and how specific words and phrases, without thought, can create forms of bias.

Photo by Glenn Carstens Peter on Unsplash