How to Create Gender Neutral and Unbiased Job Descriptions

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Employer  •  Insights  •  Single Parent

In today’s dynamic workplace, attracting top talent means creating a welcoming environment that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. And that starts with the words you use to describe your open positions.

Biased language in job descriptions can subtly reinforce outdated gender norms, making it harder for women to break into male-dominated fields and for men to pursue traditionally female-associated careers.

Imagine a world where your job description is a beacon of opportunity, inviting individuals from all backgrounds to showcase their skills and passion. A world where your words empower and inspire rather than discourage and limit.

To achieve this, let’s examine some common stereotypes that can creep into job descriptions and how we can transform them into inclusive language that embraces the full spectrum of human potential.

The stereotypes below certainly don’t apply to everyone. They are gross generalizations. But it is important to make note of them when writing a job description:

Stereotypes about men:

  • Assertive and decisive: Words like “dominant,” “driven,” and “visionary” are often used to describe ideal male candidates, implying decisiveness and strong leadership qualities.
  • Competitive and ambitious: Jobs requiring “aggressive” personalities or a “killer instinct” may appeal more to men due to societal expectations of their competitiveness.
  • Technically skilled: Descriptions for traditionally male-dominated fields like engineering or programming might highlight technical expertise more, potentially discouraging women who may possess those skills but feel intimidated by the stereotype.

Stereotypes about women:

  • Communicative and empathetic: Words like “passionate,” “supportive,” and “interpersonal skills” are frequently associated with female candidates, emphasizing communication and relationship building.
  • Detail-oriented and organized: While these are valuable skills, emphasizing them in certain roles might discourage men who possess the same abilities but don’t fit the stereotype.
  • Collaborative and nurturing: Roles emphasizing “teamwork” or “caretaking” qualities might attract women due to societal expectations of their collaborative nature and nurturing instincts, but could exclude men with similar strengths.

These stereotypes often spill onto job descriptions. This narrows the applicant pool and hinders diversity  because they can deter qualified candidates from different genders who don’t see themselves reflected in the desired traits.

Hiring managers, even with good intentions, can be influenced by these stereotypes, leading them to unconsciously favor candidates who fit the perceived gendered expectations for the role.

To eliminate bias in job descriptions, employers should use gender-neutral language: Avoid pronouns like “he/she” and focus on skills and experience instead of stereotyped traits. Clearly state a commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace in the job description. 

Therefore, avoid:

  • Gendered pronouns (“he/she”).
  • Biased keywords (“aggressive,” “rockstar”).
  • Language focused on long hours (“tireless”).
  • Assumptions about leadership styles (“visionary”).

Here are 10 Common Gender-Biased Keywords:

  1. Aggressive: Can stereotype women as lacking assertiveness.
  2. Dominant: Implies a preference for forceful personalities.
  3. Rockstar: Often associated with male-dominated fields.
  4. Passionate: Often used for women’s emotional expression, not skills.
  5. Competitive: Might deter women who value collaboration.
  6. Driven: Can imply an expectation of long hours, hindering work-life balance.
  7. Visionary: May be seen as a masculine leadership trait.
  8. Decisive: Can discourage women from expressing concerns.
  9. Tireless: May deter candidates seeking healthy work-life boundaries.
  10. Ninja: A trendy term often associated with young men.

On the other hand, here are 20 inclusive keywords

  1. Collaborative: emphasizes teamwork and partnership
  2. Analytical: highlights critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  3. Creative: welcomes innovative and unconventional approaches
  4. Adaptable: encourages flexibility and willingness to learn
  5. Resilient: values perseverance and ability to overcome challenges
  6. Empathetic: recognizes the importance of understanding and considering others
  7. Motivated: prioritizes self-initiative and drive
  8. Communicative: emphasizes clear and effective communication skills
  9. Interpersonal: highlights relationship building and collaboration skills
  10. Solution-oriented: focuses on finding practical solutions to problems
  11. Resourceful: values efficient use of resources and ingenuity
  12. Strategic: highlights long-term thinking and planning skills
  13. Growth-oriented: emphasizes eagerness to learn and develop new skills
  14. Data-driven: promotes an evidence-based approach to decision-making
  15. Proactive: encourages taking initiative and anticipating needs
  16. Independent: values self-sufficiency and ability to work autonomously
  17. Open-minded: encourages receptiveness to diverse perspectives and ideas
  18. Passionate: recognizes genuine enthusiasm and interest in the work
  19. Dedicated: highlights commitment and loyalty to the organization
  20. Experienced: values knowledge and skills gained through work and learning

Finally, here’s are two inclusive job description examples

For a Human Resources Business Partner

Join a diverse and inclusive team and build rewarding careers across our organization. As a Human Resource Business Partner in Riyadh, you’ll be a strategic advisor, partnering with leaders to attract top talent, cultivate a thriving work environment, and navigate the evolving employment landscape in Saudi Arabia.

Your Responsibilities:

  • Partner with business leaders: Collaboratively develop and implement HR strategies aligned with business objectives.
  • Talent Acquisition: Source, attract, and onboard top talent, ensuring a fair and transparent recruitment process.
  • Employee Relations: Foster a positive and inclusive work culture, addressing employee concerns effectively.
  • Compensation & Benefits: Manage compensation and benefits programs, ensuring compliance and competitive positioning.
  • HR Compliance: Stay abreast of evolving labor laws and regulations, guiding the organization towards compliance.

You Bring:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources or a related field.
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in an HR Business Partner role or similar function.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Cultural competency and understanding of the Saudi Arabian employment landscape.
  • Fluency in Arabic and English.

We Offer:

  • Competitive salary and benefits package.
  • Opportunities for professional development and growth.
  • Work in a dynamic and inclusive environment.
  • Contribute to the success of a leading organization in Saudi Arabia.

We value diversity and inclusion. We encourage applications from qualified candidates of all backgrounds.

For a Full-Stack Senior Software Developer 

We’re building cutting-edge software, and we need your expertise!

At [Company Name], we’re passionate about making technology accessible and impactful. Join our vibrant team as a Senior MEAN Stack Software Developer and play a key role in crafting the future of our [industry/products].

Who you are:

  • A seasoned developer with 5+ years of experience crafting web applications using the MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, and Node.js).
  • A technical maestro, fluent in all aspects of the MEAN stack:
    • MongoDB: Designing and optimizing schemas, writing efficient queries, and managing data migrations.
    • Express.js: Building robust and scalable APIs, implementing robust middleware, and prioritizing security.
    • Angular: Creating user-friendly, maintainable, and accessible front-end experiences.
    • Node.js: Writing efficient and asynchronous server-side code, handling real-time communication, and integrating third-party tools.
  • A collaborative teammate who thrives in cross-functional environments, partnering with designers, product managers, and other developers.
  • A problem-solver extraordinaire, tackling complex technical challenges with enthusiasm and creative solutions.
  • A lifelong learner, staying ahead of the curve with the latest advancements in the MEAN stack and beyond.

Bonus points if you have:

  • Experience with containerization technologies like Docker and Kubernetes.
  • Cloud platform knowledge (AWS, Azure, GCP).
  • Front-end framework expertise (React, Vue.js).
  • A passion for open-source software and community contributions.

What you’ll do:

  • Design, develop, and maintain high-performance web applications using the MEAN stack.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to translate requirements into elegant technical solutions.
  • Write clean, maintainable, and well-documented code that sets the bar for quality.
  • Actively participate in code reviews, providing constructive feedback and fostering growth.
  • Stay up-to-date with the MEAN stack evolution, proposing improvements to the development process.
  • Champion collaboration and knowledge sharing within the team.
  • Foster a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and empowered.

What we offer:

  • The chance to make a real impact on our products and the lives of our users.
  • A supportive and collaborative work environment where you can learn and grow alongside talented colleagues.
  • Competitive salary and benefits package, including a focus on well-being.
  • Flexible work arrangements to balance your life and career.
  • An opportunity to be part of a rapidly growing and innovative company.

We believe in the power of diversity and inclusion. We welcome applications from individuals of all backgrounds, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or any other personal characteristic.

If you’re a skilled and passionate developer who shares our values, we want you on our team!

Apply now and let’s craft the future together!

This simple shift in your hiring practices can have a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals, opening doors to new opportunities and fostering a more equitable and inclusive workplace.

Here’s to a future where job descriptions serve as catalysts for empowerment and inspiration, where every individual feels valued and encouraged to pursue their passions and contribute their unique talents to the world.

Some free tools that you can use

1) Best for checking any webpages:

2) Best for checking any job ads:

3) Personal favorite! It provides suggestions if the writings are gender favoring, polarizing, race related, religion inconsiderate, or other unequal phrasing:

Join us on Jobs for Humanity for more in depth education on inclusion of people from all walks of life.

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