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Some words used in job ads ‘indicate hostile work environments’ to women

US firm Textio thinks it has discovered why some women are put off applying for certain jobs – the words used in job ads are putting them off.

The company, which has developed what it called ‘augmented writing software’, has published the results of research in which it analysed ‘millions’ of job ads, pinpointing words such as ‘manage’ as being off-putting to female applicants.

Speaking to the BBC, Textio says words such as ‘develop’ would be a better substitute, as in ‘develop a team’, rather than manage a team’.

And there might be something in it: Software giant Atlassian used Textio’s software to help write its job ads and saw an 80% increase in the hiring of women in technical roles globally over a two-year period.

Kieran Snyder, chief executive at Textio, told the BBC: “We don’t explain why this or that phrase excludes women. We just provide the data and the company in question can come up with their own theory on why that sentence doesn’t work.”

The article also cites another firm, recruitment company TalVista, which has come to the same conclusion, noticing that words such as ‘build’ and ‘create’ are generally more enticing than ‘dynamic’ or ‘strong’ for reasons most likely linked to the subconscious mind.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?