Image by Gabrielle Henderson

Audit your job documents

It's time to look at what the roles within your organisation really require and how they can be described more inclusively

It never fails to surprise me how often I find gendered and other examples of discriminatory language in documents I review.

Job descriptions and job advertisements are notorious for being gendered and discriminatory, mostly because they just get copied and pasted over and over without any real overhaul.

Sometimes the issues are as overt as referencing ‘she’ in a administrative PD or ‘he’ in a manual handling PD. They are pretty easy to spot and replace.

The trickier analysis comes with words that are ‘bias loaded’, that is that they trigger bias in the candidates reading the document or in the assessors using the document.

Having too many bias loaded words in a document impacts inclusion as it can simply prevent people from even applying for the role. For example, a job described as ‘incredibly fast paced and complex’ is less likely to attract candidates with disability. Conversely, a role requiring ‘a supportive and collaborative focus’ is much less likely to attract male candidates.

This free Gender-Decoder tool is a helpful starting point. You can paste your PD or job ad text into the text box and it will tell you whether the description is more feminine loaded or masculine loaded, as well as identifying the bias-loaded terminology.

For more guidance on reviewing documents for bias please book a complimentary call with Tanya (our Director) to discuss job description challenges in your unique environment.