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Learn about the language and themes that attract and deter job seekers
Make your recruitment material inviting and appealing with the aid of our algorithm
Biased language refers to words and phrases that are considered prejudiced, offensive, and hurtful. These words demean and exclude certain groups on the basis of gender, race, age, physical and mental abilities, sexuality, social class, and more. Biased language is so common in our speech and writing that we are often unaware of when we’re using such terms. Oftentimes, words we believe to be innocuous have harmful hidden undertones that can be exclusionary and unappealing to certain groups of people, usually marginalized individuals. UInclude exists to make you aware of biased language and help you extract those terms from your text.
Gendered wording refers to words that are often associated with gender stereotypes. Words such as competitive and dominant have a masculine connotation, and words such as compassion and support have a feminine connotation. The words used in job ads can imply a preferred gender without us even realizing it, and as a result, discourage the opposite gender from applying. See the analysis on bias in job ads for more details on the impacts of gendered wording.
Racial bias language demeans and excludes individuals on the basis of race. This can include patronizing language towards a certain racial group, ethnic clichés, outdated terms, racial slurs, and words that allude to the violent history of racism and discrimination. Examples of this are terms like “blacklist” and “master/slave” that often show up in professional text. It’s important to rid your job description of words that carry harmful racial undertones to avoid being exclusionary towards racial and ethnic minorities.
Ableist language is demeaning toward people with disabilities and often does not maintain the dignity of people with disabilities as human beings. There is a bounty of ableist words that are common in our everyday speech and writing that were historically used to marginalize and oppress disabled people. Examples of those words are “retard” and “insane”. As directed in our tool, these words should never be used to describe individuals, behavior, or any situation, regardless of the context in which they’re used, because they are offensive. Our inclusive writing tool will guide you away from linguistic ableism by providing you with the best phrases to properly refer to people with disabilities, refrain from using words that demean, victimize, and minimize people with disabilities, and use words that are ADA compliant.
Ageist language possesses negative judgments, assumptions, and stereotypes about individuals based on their age. Age bias language and ageism are usually directed towards older adults. Many of our everyday words possess subtle derogatory remarks about aging and older people while implying a preference for younger adults. To avoid age discrimination in hiring, be sure to use the correct terms to refer to older adults and refrain from perpetuating ageist stereotypes by using terminology that is appealing to older adults.
Inclusive language is language that does not contain any underlying biases and is appealing and inviting to the vast majority of individuals, regardless of their social identities. On the other hand, exclusive language is language that does contain underlying biases and is unappealing and uninviting to a vast majority of individuals, regardless of their social identities. UInclude’s team of analysts and researchers underwent a rigorous research process resulting in a database of language shown to have subconscious psychological impacts on individuals. Download our research report to learn more about our research process and findings.
The language identified as biased in our tool are all derived from rigorous scientific research, human behavioral studies, and/or in conjunction with a panel of experts in biased language and inclusive writing. UInclude’s team of data analysts and psychology researchers launch rigorous research studies that explore and quantify the impact language in job ads has on applicants' appeal, sense of belonging, and a number of other variables. Visit analysis on bias in job ads to read our white paper on race-based inclusive and exclusive language.
We understand that there are some biased words that need to remain in your text for a number of reasons. If this is the case, use the ‘dismiss’ function. If you choose to use the dismiss feature, the biased word will no longer count against your score. We recommend that you use this feature sparingly. For example, if a biased word is part of a role title and truly cannot be replaced, if you believe the context in which the word is used does not have biased undertones, or if you would like to retain certain feminine coded words. It is important to understand that even if you’ve chosen to ignore the word, the presence of the word may still have psychological impacts on the reader.
When you paste in your job ad, it is analyzed by an algorithm that provides you with an inclusivity score. The full text of the job ad and the score are not saved in a database.
The research on which our tool is based on examined language in job ads. However, we can assume that this language has similar impacts on readers when used in other bodies of text. We recommend using this job description tool for any material that will be viewed and consumed by others.
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