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Why do some job adverts put women off applying? (bbc.co.uk)
10 points by druml 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments

Activists tend to conflate a visible change with a useful change. The problem with tinkering with the language is that you might get (some) people to change their speech superficially, and you're going to chalk that up as a success. But you have no real notion as to whether it's doing anything productive. We've had a host of gender-neutral terms in professional life for decades now, but when I'm reading stuff on women's issues, I don't get any sense that women feel better off because of this. It's just more linguistic landmines in the workplace.

And the article is counting stats on how many women apply. That runs headlong into the fundamental problem with diversity metrics: proportions in an organization not matching proportions in society are by themselves a genuine problem, but it's taken for granted that this means something terribly dire. Then when you do some stuff and those numbers change, you have no idea if it's due to anything you did, or if things are actually better. And you're playing tribal politics, so it's hard to see that "my tribe benefited!" is better for society as a whole.

"It's remarkable the number of job descriptions that are written with the same density and complexity as a Harvard Law Review article when you definitely don't need a PhD to do the job itself,"

I have about six years of college. I have over five years of corporate experience. This detail is vastly more problematic to my mind than supposedly subconsciously gendered language.

I was a homemaker for a lot of years. I tend to feel like it's me, not the advertisement, as if I'm somehow missing important job hunting skillz or something. So I'm really happy to see that snippet in this article.

I'm sure there's a fair amount of signal there, but when they say 'we're not worried about why' I wonder how many false positives they end up going with.

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