Are job ads biased?

Survey reveals shocking truths 

Job adverts across the UK are using language likely to bias who applies for the job based on their gender according to research released today.

The study released by the leading jobs board totaljobs following Equal Pay Day 2017, looked at nearly 77,000 job descriptions posted to the site over a six-week period. Academic research from The University of Waterloo and Duke University has shown that the use of certain words in job descriptions decreases the likelihood of applications from either male or female candidates.

In one of the largest ever reviews of its kind, totaljobs looked at 76,929 job descriptions against this research to understand how adverts could lead to UK workers not applying for jobs purely due to how the vacancy was worded. The research looked at the industries, job roles and regions most guilty of using language that would prejudice against male or female applicants. It is hoped that highlighting this issue now, steps can be taken ahead of the publication of Gender Pay Gap data in April 2018 to ensure future workforces are more diverse and equal.

In addition, totaljobs have released the research to coincide with the launch of their Gender Bias Decoder tool, where candidates can submit their CVs and cover letters to check unwitting gender bias before submitting applications. The tool also allows recruiters to screen job adverts for unwitting gender bias.

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