How to Write a Gender Inclusive Job Description

5 Top Tips for Getting more Female Applicants

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

Do you find that it is mostly men applying for the jobs you advertise? How a job description is written can and does put women off.

Gender diverse companies have been found to be 15% more likely to outperform those that are not (1). So why wait? Here are a few tips to make your job descriptions more gender inclusive.


Redefine your ‘essential’ and ‘desired’ criteria

Women have been found to approach job selection differently. If they aren’t 100% qualified they may not apply. Be sure to be honest about which skills and experience are essential and which are nice to have. Are there other skills and experiences that would be just as valuable to you?


Are the words you use elitist or inclusive?

The words used in role descriptions (especially in tech) have been proven to put women off. Avoid terms such as ‘we need a tech superhero’, ‘rock star’, or ‘hacker’ although these terms may not put all women off, have been found to reduce female interest in a role (1). Unnecessary overuse of technical terms is also a big turn off, even for some of the most technically minded women. Technical terms specific to the job are fine, but does the job description sound cold? Elitist? Unfriendly?


Check your pronouns!

If you use ‘he’ or ‘she’ you are instantly showing an expectation of gender. This shows a bias that the other gender knows will make them less likely to get the role. The term ‘they’ covers all genders and is perfectly interchangeable with ‘she’ or ‘he’.


Share insights into the experience of working for you and your company.

Make sure the role description enables applicants to visualise how it feels to be in the company. What is the culture like? What is the team like? What will their life be like in that role? Women are more likely to research the culture of a company before applying. And they are more likely to apply for a role if they can visualise being there.


Get women involved in writing the role descriptions.

This is a great way to reduce unintentional gender bias in a job description. In fact, the more diverse the range of people you can get involved in writing a job description, the more diverse the range of people you will attract.

As always, if you need any help with the recruitment of people of all genders or assistance with your international payroll, get in touch

    1. Glassdoor, 2021