More female applicants respond to changed job adverts


25 September 2020

By Alexandra Dean

Last month, Thames Water have admitted on Twitter that they have seen a surge of applications from female candidates to their jobs from 8% to a massive 46% of applicants for a new role advertised. How? They attributed it to removing 'masculine' words from their job adverts.

Interestingly, the words that were removed include "champion", "confident" and "competitive" after conducting research through an online tool that showcased hidden meanings in language used which, in turn, highlighted the more masculine phrases.

Lucia Farrance, who led the Women in Ops Recruitment Project at Thames Water that brought on this change has spoken of her contentment of these figures and said “There is a huge pool of untapped female talent out there and it is great to see some of that showing through in the recruits coming into the frontline teams at Thames Water. We are extremely passionate about championing the importance and benefits of a diverse and equal workforce. Gender should never be a barrier".

The beginning of the end of gender inequality?

The above figures are very encouraging and it may well signify a further shift towards ending inequality for women in the workplace. If more women apply for roles, in particular if those were previously more male-dominated, then more change can be affected because more women will be sat around the table to be able to bring on that change.

Companies can help bring this forward by looking at the way their own job adverts are worded, having a few pairs of eyes on this for opinion could help but also asking for external help from agencies is a great option as companies cannot be expected to know what to do at all times.

Whilst employees are becoming less shy about voicing their displeasure if there is any inequality in the workplace, it would be even better if that could be avoided altogether from the outset. Changing the way job adverts are worded may well help.

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This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.