Biased language in job ads in Britain deters one in two women from applying, a study said, amid a push to attract more women to male-dominated sectors.
Openreach, which operates most of the country’s broadband network, found that women’s interest in applying for an engineering job increased over 200 percent when changes were made to language in an ad.
The company asked 2,000 women about two different ads for the same job, and found they were put off by macho phrases like “being on the road in your van” and “getting your hands dirty” and mention of climbing a telegraph pole.
Openreach is seeking to recruit women for 500 out of 2,500 new engineering jobs this year – 10 times historic levels. Fifty-six percent were interested in the job once the advert had been rephrased, including replacing the word “engineer” with “network coordinator.”
Just over 3 percent of Openreach engineers are women compared to 11 percent of engineers nationally.