Wayne Brophy

Feb 17, 2022

5 Great Tips To Make Your Job Ads More Gender Inclusive


Improving inclusivity and diversity in the workplace is something many businesses struggle with, especially when it comes to gender. After all, how can they be more inclusive when there’s a lack of diverse talent applying for their roles as it is?

This is because most job advertisements are generally (and often unknowingly) geared towards men, but there are things you can do to make them more gender inclusive. Here, we provide our five top tips to ensure your company appeals to all candidates.

1. Review your vocabulary

There’s a significant amount of unconscious gender bias in adverts, with an average of six male- or female-coded words per ad. The most typical male-gendered words were ‘lead’, ‘analyse’, ‘competitive’, ‘active’ and ‘confident’, and were used more in senior roles, especially those related to science, sales and marketing. Female-gendered words were ‘support’, ‘responsible’, ‘understanding’, ‘dependable’ and ‘committed’, with ads swayed towards social care, administration and cleaning.

Not only does this reinforce stereotypes, it discourages women from applying for higher-level roles. Research from ZipRecruiter discovered that using gender-neutral words was more successful, with applications increasing by 42% compared to those using gender-biased words.

2. Don’t limit yourself

A study by Hewlett Packard found that women will only apply for roles where they satisfy 100% of the qualifications and skill needs, whereas men will apply if they meet 60% of the criteria. Therefore, consider what’s actually relevant to a role – is it crucial, or can it be taught through training? Ensure the ad makes it clear what’s essential and what’s desirable.

Likewise, don’t discriminate based on education. STEM degrees are still male-dominated courses, but that doesn’t mean a woman can’t have the necessary skills. In fact, in our webinar, ‘What now? Building high performing leadership teams’, leaders recommended that in this candidate-short market, you must be open minded, and consider personality  before experience and knowledge. Because whilst lack of skill can be addressed, lack of will can be insidious.

3. Communicate benefits and provisions

Nowadays, most candidates expect some sort of flexible working. But historically, employers (especially those doing the standard 9–5) haven’t been the best at providing this.

Considering women are still the primary carers of children in almost a third of households, it’s important to demonstrate that you can offer such opportunities. Your job ads are then more likely to attract women – and also men who want to spend more time with their children.

4. Show you’re committed to being gender inclusive

Sometimes, the best way to demonstrate that you are something is to display your commitment. And communicating your pledge to diversity and inclusivity is incredibly beneficial – not just for appealing to all genders, but for attracting individuals from varying cultural backgrounds too.
Potential candidates will see your company as having a friendly, inclusive environment. And by putting your commitment to inclusivity on your job ads, you’ll be communicating your inclusive culture before they’ve even applied.

5. Add diversity and inclusivity to your values

Many businesses are demonstrating the diverse and inclusive nature of their organisation by incorporating it into their values. Whilst this should be a given, in reality, many candidates and employees have had negative experiences. So if you can provide examples of how your company puts this into practice, that’s even better.
Make sure to include these values in your job adverts – or link to them, so that potential employees realise that you’re serious about diversity and inclusivity.


Attract a wider range of talent with Cast UK

With these top tips, you can make your job ads more gender inclusive, and inclusive in general, attracting a more diverse range of candidates as a result.

All of the consultants here at Cast UK have had thorough training in this area, and can help you to entice top talent regardless of their background. We can do this either on a one-off basis, or for multiple hires with our innovative range of recruitment solutions. Speak to us on 0333 121 3345 or at hello@castuk.com.

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