According to an internal report done by Hewlett Packard, women are less likely to apply for job posts unless they feel that they are are 100% eligible for the post; whereas most men are likely to apply even if they meet only 60% of the requirements mentioned in the vacancy post. There are a number of reasons why this happens; mainly companies do not take into account that the words they use may be “masculine” instead of neutral or that  woman are more careful when taking risks such as applying for a job that you probably are not fully equipped for. Even though companies cannot brazenly and blatantly mention that they are specifically looking for female applicants, there are ways to attract more women than men for a position.

  1. Avoid gender-coded words, like “hacker,” “competitive,” and “dominate”

These words have been proven to deter women from applying or even engaging a post because words such as these are male oriented. Men are known to much more competitive and women are more collaborative in their work. Words like hacker or dominate relay feelings of an invasion of privacy and using force, whereas women are more likely to communicate their ideas without overwhelming those around them.

 2. Avoid using unnecessary corporate speak and jargon

Generally people respond better to content that they can relate to. As a company looking for applicants, they can be left feeling like outsiders when jargon they aren’t familiar with is used in the application posts. Every industry has their own “insider language” but that does not mean that their candidates are familiar with some words, even if they do qualify for the post. Words like “KPIs” “hot clock” “lexicology” “brainstorm” are all used in their respective fields but not everyone knows how and when they are used. Use everyday language that people will understand.

3. Emphasise your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion

Women are generally caregivers and therefore, respond well if they know that their working environment will offer them the same support and guidance should they ever need it. As mentioned above, women are not as competitive as men but would rather collaborate in an effort to get more done. If women know where they stand, they know how to curb or exceed expectations. The example below was taken from an IBM post:

IBM is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Often times companies do not even realise the mistakes they are making when wording their job descriptions or vacancy posts, but now that you have read this, you can go review some of your documents to see how you can alter them for a more diverse and inclusive group of applicants.