Language sets you in a corridor for life, but the usage of right words in the right place at the right time opens every door along the way.
According to LinkedIn's Language Matters gender diversity report 2019, the words different genders use to describe themselves impact their experiences throughout the hiring process and at work. For the study, over 15,000 employees and employers were examined worldwide including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, the UK, and the US.
The report takes an in-depth look at the inadvertent language bias trends, to empower organizations in embracing a more gender-balanced workforce. In a bid to attract the most diverse pool of candidates, recruiters must know the words, terms and content that should be avoided.
The word "aggressive" was found to deter 44% of women and 33% of men from applying for the job role. The LinkedIn report noted that one in four women would be discouraged from working where "demanding" is used in the job description as this word might reflect negatively on company culture or workload.
The report suggested that recruiters should consider using words like 'supportive', 'diligent', and 'confident' to describe their ideal candidate and always pay attention to describe the workplace atmosphere while sharing a job post. Also, words like 'fast-paced' should be used and avoid terms such as 'pressured' which suggest a negative working environment.
Both genders responded positively to job descriptors such as "powerful," "strong-willed" and "confident".
The study also revealed that the word 'likeable' is a preferred choice for 38% of women as compared to just 29% men, and the term 'supportive' is prioritized by 39% women and 32% men. Apart from this, both men and women see themselves as 'powerful' in the workplace, but in the media, assumptions about professional traits are often tied strongly to gender.
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