Study: 'Feminine-sounding' job descriptions turn off men
- A job-listing study found that few men apply to openings requiring applicants to be “empathetic,” “caring” or “family-focused,” reports the New York Times. The reason is that these terms are typically associated with female traits.
- Textio, a hiring specialists firm, analyzed 50 million job postings for language that either attracts or repels male or female applicants, says the Times. The study analyzed the 14 fastest-growing jobs between 2014 and 2024 and found that employers use words associated with being feminine in these job postings.
- Textio told the Times it helped improve a client’s job-posting results by using gender-neutral terms instead of masculine-sounding language to describe job requirements. For example, “extraordinary” replaced “rock star” and “premier” replaced “world-class.”
The fastest-growing jobs are in healthcare. Using “feminine language” in job postings might explain why many more women than men are nurses, nurses’ aides and physician assistants. The study showed that the most “feminine” job postings were for home health aides, of which 89% are female, with a growth rate of 38% by 2024.
Male job seekers – especially those who are unemployed or underemployed – lose out economically. Other fast-growing jobs in healthcare pay well, such as genetic counselors, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistant.
Using gender-neutral language is the way to attract a more diverse job applicant pool and reduce hiring time. Textio’s study showed that gender-neutral job postings were filled 14 times faster than posts with either masculine- or feminine-sounding language.
- New York Times Job Listings That Are Too ‘Feminine’ for Men