Diversity in the Workforce

How does gender biased wording in job descriptions perpetuate gender inequality in the workforce?


Five male dominated industries, five female dominated industries and 5,000 postings in total were assessed to determine their level of gender bias. Read below for the results of this assessment and learn about the ways gendered wording in a job description can alter job appeal for a woman, and her perceived sense of belonging in that role.


Overall Impacts of Gendered Wording

  • LinkedIn research shows that women are 16% less likely to apply to a job after viewing it than men, and language contributes to that significantly

  • Recent research revealed that 60% of businesses showed significant male bias in the wording of their job adverts and 70% of listings across industries contain masculine words

  • Job ads for male-dominated occupations use greater masculine wording than ads for female-dominated occupations

  • Job listings with gender-neutral wording get 42% more responses

Impacts of Gendered Wording on Job Appeal & Belongingness

  • Women are more interested in male-dominated jobs when the job descriptions are unbiased

  • Women find occupations that are masculinely worded less appealing regardless of whether the occupations are traditionally more male or female dominated

  • Both men and women find jobs most attractive when there is a match between their gender and the gendered wording used in the advertisement

  • The mere presence of masculine words such as challenge, lead, boast, and active in advertisements make jobs appear less gender diverse and less appealing to women, even when these words are only a fraction of the total words in the advertisements

  • Women reported greater anticipated belongingness within occupations that were femininely worded than masculinely worded


  • Male dominated industries utilize more masculine gendered words in their job descriptions, while female dominated industries utilize more feminine gendered words

  • Although masculine gendered words predominate in male dominated industries and female gendered words predominate in female dominated industries, masculine gendered words are more prevalent across the board (i.e. there are more masculine gendered words present in female dominated industries than there are feminine gendered words in male dominated industries)

  • Studies have shown that companies with diverse workforce perform better and produce more innovative outcomes. So, use the UInclude Editor to eliminate bias from your job descriptions and draw in a more gender diverse pool of candidates!


Ratio of Feminine and Masculine Words by Industry

Frequency of Feminine Words by Industry

  • Male dominated industries (Financial Services, Computer Software, Aviation & Aerospace, Construction, and Security & Investigations) have a higher masculine-gendered word ratio

  • Most female dominated industries (Human Resources, Design & Graphics, Veterinary, and Environmental Services) have a higher feminine-gendered word ratio

  • Industries in the "female dominant" category skew towards the right, indicating that feminine gendered words are extremely prevalent in job descriptions within those industries

  • Industries in the "male dominant" category skew towards the left, indicating that masculine gendered words predominate

Top 10 Masculine and Feminine Root Words

Word Cloud: 50 Most Frequently Used Words

  • The word count for masculine wording is much higher than the word count for feminine wording across the 5,000 job descriptions that were scraped and analyzed

  • The most frequently used masculine gendered root word "skill" is used over twice as much as the most frequently used feminine root word "response"

  • Masculine words are used more frequently across the board. Only 36% of the 50 most frequently used words are feminine