How to avoid gender bias in your job descriptions

Photo by: Flazingo Photos

Unconscious bias in job descriptions could mean your organization is losing out on top talent and furthering the gender imbalance in certain roles and departments. Even if subconscious, these biases can still have a compound impact that leads to a “snowball effect,” says Farah Mahesri, co-founder of Quantum Impact, an advocacy and education organization promoting gender and diversity equity in the global development sector.

Much like a snowball rolling down a hill and getting bigger as it goes, small amounts of bias applied over time adds up and aggravates gender disparity at top levels. If you start with a team that is made up of slightly more women — 52 percent women versus 48 percent men — a 1 percent bias in favour of men over an eight-year period means you will end up with a team that is 65 percent male, explains Mahesri.

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About the author

  • Emma smith

    Emma Smith

    Emma Smith is a Senior Careers Reporter at Devex, based in Barcelona. She focuses on bringing the latest career and hiring trends, tips, and insights to our global development community. Emma has a background in journalism and, in addition to writing for news publications, has worked with organizations focusing on child rights and women’s rights in sustainable development.