It’s How You Say It

As someone who works in a male-dominated field like political journalism, I’m constantly aware of the gender imbalance in the profession. I’ve been caught on endless listserv threads about why there aren’t more women at a given organization and why more women don’t apply for certain types of positions.

German researchers found that something as simple as how the job description is written in the listing can affect the types of candidates companies attract.

The AuBeFühr Project found that if they showed test candidates fictional job descriptions, there was a difference in which ones the women wanted to apply to. Women seemed to be more attracted to job descriptions containing the words “dedicated,” “responsible,” “conscientious,” and “sociable” while they were less attracted to job descriptions containing the words: “assertive,” “independent,” “aggressive,” and “analytical.”

Male test subjects, the researchers say, reacted no differently to the differing job descriptions.

It’s a strange lesson, but one that we’ve heard over and over again. It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Something job description writers might be wise to keep in mind the next time the start typing.

Photo: Shutterstock/racorn

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: