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Why do some job adverts put women off applying?

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posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 09:28 PM
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originally posted by: apydomis
Are the same men applying to both differently worded job descriptions, or are feminized men applying to the liberalized versions? On the flip side, who are the women applying to the managerial jobs? Are they the same women applying for the interpersonal jobs?
Is it possible that none from group “a” are related to group “b”? Man or woman-


What if I want to hire a competitive leader with strong interpersonal skills to support the development AND management of a team of coding Ninjas and Kunoichis?

What kinda applicant does the data think I would get? I bet thats the question that will frie our computer overlords one day and free us from algorithmic terrain.




posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 09:29 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: dug88

The thing is...I probably wouldn't apply for a job that said manager in something I didn't feel qualified to be the manager or team leader for either. What does that have to do with being a man or a woman? This doesn't make sense to me...I don't look at the wording for jobs that seem more feminine and think I shouldn't apply.


You might not. And you may think that you are immune from being influenced by such things, but the data show otherwise. It doesn't matter what you think you do. The fact is (and this is the whole point) certain words and phrases tend to elicit responses from certain kinds of people. That is statistically supported by the data. They are not looking for an individual response here. They are looking at the aggregate of the data where your response is a mere single data point among many that, when all totaled up, shows a trend. Your individual response could be an outlier, or it could be right smack dab in the middle, but if the trend holds, it is valid. Once this becomes well known, it would behoove any organization to pay attention to it. If your organization habitually uses phrases in recruitment that are known and proven to attract only white males (as an example) you are dead meat if you ignore it.

Some of this is more subtle than you might like, but it is very powerful. I'll give you another example. In the promotion of professors in academia, we all know that "publish or perish" is an issue. If you do not publish, or if you publish poorly, you are unlikely to get tenure. There are lots of problems with this that are immaterial to the following issue. If women are not promoted at the same rate as males to get tenure, how do you judge this? "Publish or perish" is cited as a valid reason that has nothing to do with gender, right? One way you can judge publications is the number of times a given author has been cited by another author. (This is just an example, now.) That's a measurement of if not quality, then surely reputation in the field. So if it can be shown that a given female professor is cited twice as many times as a given male professor (all things being equal) and the male professor is promoted and the female professor is not, then you just bought yourself a lawsuit. That's the kind of data that can get you into trouble. And that's the kind of data that we are talking about here.


Hmmm well...in the paper me and my female partner authored together our names are listed as E. Herlastname and D. Mylastname...every paper i've ever cited has been cited as first initial last name. I don't think I could tell you the gender of any author on any paper i've cited unless I personally know the author.

I'm not sure about other fields, maybe you're speaking from personal experience, but in biology at least...success had nothing to do with how many times your papers are cited but by how much work you do and the quality of the results you get. I've worked with several very skilled biologists, considered some of the best, both men and women, not one of them would be able to fell you how many times their papers have been cited, but they could tell you anything you ever wanted to know about.bats, small mammals, the entire life of an animal just from a tooth they found, what every single piece of fungus you could ever find in a forest is and whether it'll kill you or not.

Peer reviews are done usually without even knowing the names of the authors until after the review.

My personal experience working in science and seeing the people around me says fairly differently than the scenario you describe....honestly the main thing that seemed to get anyone jobs...no matter who they were, was the ability to pay the $10000 a year registration fee to be a registered professional biologist....tons of jobs available for anyone who has that.



posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 09:40 PM
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originally posted by: c2oden
This is insane. What other words that inherently have no gender bias will also become biased? This has gone way too far to even be credible.


On the contrary, it is the essence of credibility and sanity. Read the following two advertisements:

1. "Join our crackerjack team of programmers and let's kick some butt!"

2. "We're in need of a mature experienced programmer for a fascinating project."

Tell me, please. How many males will apply to the first? How many females for the first? How about the second? Are you going to seriously insist with a straight face that if you get a predominance of male applicants for the first advertisement that it's just a matter of chance and not your fault that no women were interested? If I can prove to you, with data, that a given phrase will inevitably always attract males and repel females, are you telling me you will refuse to pay attention? Really???? It would be absolutely delightful to get you on the stand in front of a jury--especially if I could show you had been exposed to these issues previously, as you now have been. Talk about a slam dunk. Easy pickins!



posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 09:47 PM
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originally posted by: dug88

My personal experience working in science and seeing the people around me says fairly differently than the scenario you describe....honestly the main thing that seemed to get anyone jobs...no matter who they were, was the ability to pay the $10000 a year registration fee to be a registered professional biologist....tons of jobs available for anyone who has that.


It's already happened. It's in the literature. It's a part of case law. Look it up. This VERY THING has been used to prove discrimination. In fact, your issue of disguising the gender of the authors plays into this perfectly well. The issue is not that the peer reviewer knows the gender of the author (for publication.) The whole point is that the peer reviewer does not. Further, the tertiary academic who cites the author does not know either. So if discrimination happens despite all those protections, ta da!

You prove the point. Thanks.
edit on 6/12/2018 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 09:49 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: c2oden
This is insane. What other words that inherently have no gender bias will also become biased? This has gone way too far to even be credible.


On the contrary, it is the essence of credibility and sanity. Read the following two advertisements:

1. "Join our crackerjack team of programmers and let's kick some butt!"

2. "We're in need of a mature experienced programmer for a fascinating project."

Tell me, please. How many males will apply to the first? How many females for the first? How about the second? Are you going to seriously insist with a straight face that if you get a predominance of male applicants for the first advertisement that it's just a matter of chance and not your fault that no women were interested? If I can prove to you, with data, that a given phrase will inevitably always attract males and repel females, are you telling me you will refuse to pay attention? Really???? It would be absolutely delightful to get you on the stand in front of a jury--especially if I could show you had been exposed to these issues previously, as you now have been. Talk about a slam dunk. Easy pickins!


The word in question is "manage".

And I don't think you would be delighted to "get me on the stand".

Underestimate me , I don't care if you think i'm "easy pickins".



posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 09:55 PM
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more idiocy, no surprise

is it possible to escape it anymore?

do I have to move deep into the mountains of Alaska or Canada where there is no other humans and lose all contact with society in order to escape the idiocy?



posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 10:07 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: DanDanDat
How disappointed would someone who expects to "develop" a team be when they find out that I only want them to "manage" a team I have already developed?


Then that should come out in the interview process. You are picking on a speculative example rather than the data itself, which we actually do not know from what has been presented. Another example might be an advertisement for an "experienced C++ programmer" versus "A Ninja programmer." Care to wiggle out of that one? How about "join our nurturing environment where alternative ideas are accepted" versus "join our crackerjack programming team!" It's not about your own personal idiolect and what you think words mean and how you think you are being precise. It's about the effect of your words on the applicants you draw in. You may think you are being more precise by saying you want a "manager" instead of a "developer," but if by succumbing to your own ideas of precision you attract 90% males and 10% females, you've just generated a problem for yourself. It's not about you; it's about them. If you refuse to understand this issue, your HR manager had better. They just might save your bacon.


I'm am picking on the example given by the Kieran Snyder, chief executive of Seattle-based Textio, to show how the data can be used. And as I pointed out if this is the go to example for the CEO of the company compiling and presenting the data than there is something inherently wrong with the way the data is being used.

There's no two was about it; you can't simply change the word manage to develop. They do not remotely mean the same thing.

There is a saying when it comes to data ... garbage in garbage out.



"experienced C++ programmer" versus "A Ninja programmer."?

First I am an experienced C++ programmer; I don't even know what a Ninja programmer is. I could guess it might denote you know a lot more languages than just C++. But if that is the case than just say so. "Looking for a programmer who knows more than one language" ... Ninja programmer is sloppy and does not reflect a full idea. If it also only attracts white men than great their company can have um.

"join our nurturing environment where alternative ideas are accepted" versus "join our crackerjack programming team!"?

Again words mean things and those two phrases dont remotely mean the same thing. What if I have a crackerjack programming team that does NOT have a nurturing environment where alternative ideas are accept? Or I could just as easily have an ad for "join our crackerjack programming team where we foster a nurturing environment where alternative ideas are accept" and it would not be redundant.

Its not at all about what I think words mean ... it's about what the dictionary thinks words mean and again Manage and Develop are not synonyms and can not be used interchangeably. "crackerjack programming team" does not mean "nurturing environment where alternative ideas are accept" they can not be used interchangeably.

And no this cant all come out in the interview process. The application process is an important gate in the hiring process. It wastes everyones time to miss describe a job description.

At the end of the day the job description is not about me or about the a applicant; it's about the job it is trying to describe. If only 10% of men want to do the job being hired for than thats just the way it is. You can't trick people into applying for, and than hire them for, a job you described one way and than say "just kidding! what your really going to be doing is this in stead". It would cause resentments for all involved and a high turn over rate. So instead of having to explain why only 10% of women are applying to your job; your going to have to explain why your company has a 90% turnover rate for women. If I was a HR manager I'd rather answer the first question.



posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 10:17 PM
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You people are simply not getting it. This is serious stuff that can affect your company. It's data driven, not opinion driven. I've seen this kind of thing happen in compensation issues before. So far NONE of you have admitted to being an HR pro, because if there are HR pros here, they would understand the gravity of the situation. It simply DOES NOT MATTER what YOU think about "definitions." Your self-proclaimed expertise does not matter here. You can argue until you are blue in the face that your idea about what something means is "correct," but the Bottom Line here is what your prejudices elicit in the way of responses to personnel ads. And if it can be shown that your phraseology does elicit a response at variance with the population statistics, the onus is upon YOU to explain why that is fair and not discriminatory. Understand this--or suffer the consequences, complaining about how unfair it is the entire way. Jesus, people. Pay attention. Really. The way you have argued so far means you would be completely dead meat on the stand.



posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 10:19 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Oh great we will start running our businesses on emotions and not logic

That always works out well, I feel like we should do this or I feel like we should do that

Grreat for running a business and great for running a country too



posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 10:31 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

I don't think you get it.
Your posts show that you don't.
Please go back and read them, and ask yourself why am I posting like a insufferable douche?



posted on Jun, 12 2018 @ 11:26 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
You people are simply not getting it. This is serious stuff that can affect your company. It's data driven, not opinion driven. I've seen this kind of thing happen in compensation issues before. So far NONE of you have admitted to being an HR pro, because if there are HR pros here, they would understand the gravity of the situation. It simply DOES NOT MATTER what YOU think about "definitions." Your self-proclaimed expertise does not matter here. You can argue until you are blue in the face that your idea about what something means is "correct," but the Bottom Line here is what your prejudices elicit in the way of responses to personnel ads. And if it can be shown that your phraseology does elicit a response at variance with the population statistics, the onus is upon YOU to explain why that is fair and not discriminatory. Understand this--or suffer the consequences, complaining about how unfair it is the entire way. Jesus, people. Pay attention. Really. The way you have argued so far means you would be completely dead meat on the stand.


"Your self-proclaimed expertise does not matter here." ... funny coming from a person doing a lot of self-proclaiming of expertise.

But you are correct I am not using any HR pro-level expertise in my argument. All I am using is simple logic which stats you can not change the word "manage" to "develop" in a job description and expect to get applicants that are willing to do the job you are hiring for. Oh yes I do understand the data suggests that you might trick some more minorities into apply for your jobs by misrepresenting those jobs ... but again simple logic tells me that doesnt sound like a less discriminatory practice... in fact it sounds like a much more discriminatory practice.

Once again I dont need to argue until I am blue in the face to know I am correct in what words mean. There is a book called the dictionary and it states quite clearly what these words mean.

Listen I don't begrudge where your coming from on the grander issues of discrimination in the hiring process. But the phraseology of job descriptions is simply not where the discrimination exists. Discrimination, subconsciously or overtly, exists in the company culture itself.

There is an inherent cultur difference in a firm that puts out an ad "Seeking ninja programmer" vs "Seeking multi talented programmer" that goes far beyond subconscious prejudice in the simple words used in job descriptions. I would never take a job with a company that placed the first ad; it screams to much of a juvinial tendency. I would expect that if the company does find itself in court due to an HR matter it wont be over the "ninja programmer" ad.

On the flip side a company with a culture fine tuned enough to even consider hiring Textio, to find out if it's ok or not ok to use the word "manager" in their hiring ads, already is inclusive on so many more important levels than the semantics in their hiring ads... or at least you would hope they are; as I pointed out its possible for a less scrupulous company to hire Textio as a means to trick people into thinking they are not prejudice.

So again; your not wrong to care about the issue of discrimination ... it's just that the use of big data to hyper tune a job description is just a silly way to combat discrimination. There are a lot of other more impactful ways to combat discrimination.

For example you can start Divercity and Inclusion Employee Resource Groups and empower them to make real changes in your organization. I lead an ERG at my company dedicated to hiring and supporting the disabled (an underserved minority that I belong to). We work across multiple sights and make measurable improvements. It's a much better approach than hiring a big data firm to worrying about what words your using in a job description or closing your stores down for a day to have sensitive training. Those things are just PR stunts and wont get you out of an HR lawsuit.

And further there is always an inherent danger with using big data (and this is my self proclaimed area of expertise) and again that is "garbage in garbage out" ... Correlation does not imply causation.



posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 12:20 AM
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Interesting article. I am always fascianated about stories that revolve around computer algorithms. The company that is analysing the job postings has developed the software that reads the ads and selects words or phrases that may cause issue. The software would require a database to start with that is loaded with search words or phrases. Words such as "manage" and "develope" would be weighted for the algorithm.

Who developed the criteria to weight the words? Was it done by polling a cross section of people from all walks of life or by a group of employees at the company. Bias may already be in the data from the start.

A reply to: BlueJacket

"wow, so the data shows this gender or racial bias, but they cant explain it?! They collected data, they say what it means, but dont know why. "

A reply to: schuyler

"Exactly. They can find a correlation, but they can't explain why. The cumulated data shows the correlation."

You both stated that they "can't explain why".

If you look at the following from the article:


"We don't explain why this or that phrase excludes women," says Ms Snyder. "We just provide the data and the company in question can come up with their own theory on why that phrase doesn't work."

They simply state that they "don't" tell you why there is an issue. There is an issue because the algorithm told them there is.



posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 05:03 AM
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Wouldn't the simplest way to prove this be to post job ads with the male set of wording and then post for those same jobs using the other word set's more appropriate for females and see what the applicants are?

Why not then poll the applicants of what inside the job posting drew their attention to it and drove them to apply?

This would be the start to putting a "reason" behind the supposed data correlation.



posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 06:54 AM
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a reply to: WalterTilley

There's a certain kind of logic that successfully runs a business and the wording used in job adds is indictive of that kins of logic

If its putting you off you may not be cut out for the task at hand



posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 08:59 AM
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Manage a team Is saying the team is already in place Develop is saying No team so tell me which job would be more complicated just going by words alone lol .
If all it takes to put a woman off on a applying for a job is a word like manage then they mite want to look for another type of job .

Btw loath managing people ( have done it when and only when No one else would .
And did not take the job knowing it would be nessery would NOT have if i had known .
Well ok it was only one day but lord who needs the stress ( ps I did great but just don't like the extra stress .
Frankly I dont think anyone is management after all every one cant even get along with there other and family without arguments and they believe they can run the world lolol



posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 09:14 AM
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a reply to: WalterTilley

Yes. That is called split testing.

The same sort of thing is done by Internet marketers.
They'll create a few versions of a landing page and test which ones get the greatest responses, rinse and repeat over and over until they are confident of getting the most clicks or what ever they are after with the best bit of copyright.
The internet marketer doesn't care WHY people chose this one or that one the most. They only care about which one has the best response rate.

It's my guess that that sort of testing has been done with job advertisements and the demographic of the respondents recorded. It's just data, no 'WHYs' just results.

This is not about emotions or word interpretation. It's about FISHING and using the right BAIT to catch the type of fish you're wanting to land.

It is valuable information for recruiters who are looking to hire a specific gender for what ever reason, diversity or avoiding it. You're not legally allowed to specifically say in your ad "We're looking for a male" or "We're looking for a female" so carefully selecting words that have been demonstrated to resonate with a specific gender is your best bet at attracting the candidates you're after. Why they resonate is not important information. How they resonate and who they attract (the most) is important.

Not so valuable for anyone else really, although now you know this, you could make a reasonable guess if you are a male and see a 'feminised' job ad, it's probably not worth applying for as the company advertising that position is probably looking to hire females and you could be, not necessarily, but more than likely wasting your time. They won't tell you that though.



posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 09:45 AM
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originally posted by: fiverx313
a reply to: bobs_uruncle

if you don't appreciate the study of semantics, that's fine. no need to be rude.



I didn't think I was being rude, must be a semantics thing :-) I am usually referred to as flippantly arrogant lol. Anyway, in my original post I didn't even bother to say "must also be seriously pneumaticly skilled" which could be construed as rude or maybe just a reference to control systems in the HVAC industry :-)

Cheers - Dave
edit on 6/13.2018 by bobs_uruncle because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 10:17 AM
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a reply to: dug88

The ad, in itself, is advertising for a manager, one would think that is simple enough to understand, but what type of person are they really looking to hire?

The reality of the low percentages of women in managerial roles and the rejection rates, may also play a factor in some people trying to read between the lines of job ads, and that's a good thing, an educational thing, a progressive thing. I would take it one step further and research the company and see who has already been hired for top executive roles, to get a good picture of their culture and their hiring practices.



We recently conducted a study of more than 10,000 senior executives who were competing for top management jobs in the UK. We found that women were indeed less likely than men to apply for these jobs, but here’s the interesting part: We found that women were much less likely to apply for a job if they had been rejected for a similar job in the past. Of course, men were also less likely to apply if they had been rejected, but the effect was much stronger for women — more than 1.5 times as strong.


hbr.org...



posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 02:05 PM
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originally posted by: DanDanDat
First I am an experienced C++ programmer; I don't even know what a Ninja programmer is. I could guess it might denote you know a lot more languages than just C++. But if that is the case than just say so. "Looking for a programmer who knows more than one language" ... Ninja programmer is sloppy and does not reflect a full idea. If it also only attracts white men than great their company can have um.


It's basically a more edgy, younger, more hip way of saying they want someone well versed. Ninja, rockstar, and a few others are code (no pun intended) for the company having a fratboy style company culture. And that most definitely shifts the demographics of who applies.



posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 02:25 PM
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If the word 'manager', in my ad, is preventing people afraid of management from applying...it sounds like my ad is working just fine.

Job ads should be as descriptive as possible, not as 'comforting' as possible. I want you to know precisely what you are applying for, before you waste either of our time. Makes the whole process easier for myself as well as the prospective employee.

If that skews who applies...honestly, as long as the position I have is filled by a person capable of doing it, I don't care much for balancing my staff ethnicities and genders...I don't sell ethnicity nor gender.



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