‘Male-wanted’ job ads

Subtle cues could put women off from applying for certain jobs, find studies
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/06/2014

The wording of an employment ad can be a crucial factor in determining whether the job goes to a woman or a man.

Women feel less inclined to respond to ads containing words such as “determined” and “assertive” because these are linked with male stereotypes, found researchers at the Technische Universität München in Germany.

In studying how leaders are selected and assessed, the researchers showed 260 test subjects — largely students — fictional employment ads. These included, for example, a place in a training program for potential management positions. If the posting described a large number of traits stereotypically associated with men — “assertive,” “independent,” “aggressive” and “analytical” — the women found it less appealing and were less inclined to apply.