How to create gender neutral content

It is important to ensure the content you create and promote is gender neutral. You do not want to discourage female candidates from applying to a job role because you have falsely given the impression your industry is better suited to males. Here are a few things to consider when advertising and promoting your company: 

Use of Pronouns

You need to pay attention to how you address your audience.  Using gendered pronouns for example, can give the impression that you associate your industry only with one gender. If you are describing what an employee does in a day, it is best to avoid stating “he discusses his work with his account manager.” Instead, you should reword the sentence to remove any need for these kinds of pronouns. The above could then become “account managers are always consulted”. It is not difficult to address your audience in a non-gendered way and doing so will ensure that your content has a more universal appeal. 

It is also best to avoid what is known as ‘spotlighting’. For example, using the terms ‘Women Scientists’ or ‘Women Engineers’ can be damaging.  Although you are more than likely supporting women in these fields, this can subtly reinforce the idea that it is unusual for women to have these roles.

Images

If you are advertising your company and including images in your material, try to include images featuring both males and females. It would be a good idea to show images of males and females working together, as this gives the impression your company offers a friendly, collaborative working environment which will appeal to women.

Job adverts

A study from the job search website “ZipRecruiter” discovered that removing gender-biased words from job descriptions increased the number of applicants by 42 percent. This study found that male gender-biased words include words such as: ‘manpower’ ‘dominant’ and ‘determined’. Using words such as these could drive away qualified female candidates and discourage them from applying to a role.

A useful tool to use when writing your job adverts/descriptions is the website ‘Gender-Decoder’. Here you can copy and paste your content and you will be told whether you have used linguistic gender-coding that would have a discouraging effect for women applicants.

Summing up

As you can see, creating gender neutral content is not difficult. However, it is often easy to fall into the trap of gendering job adverts or marketing material without realizing. By ensuring that the material you publish is gender neutral, you can be sure that you are not discouraging female applicants from applying to your company.  

Written by Lauren Jenkins 

Posted on Friday Jul 21