Biased language in some job advertisements in the UK deters as many as one in two women from applying, a study said yesterday, amid a push to attract more women to male-dominated sectors.
Openreach, which operates most of the country’s broadband network, found that women’s interest in applying for an engineering job increased by more than 200 percent when changes were made to language in an ad.
The company asked 2,000 women about two different ads for the same job, and found they were put off by macho phrases like “being on the road in your van” and “getting your hands dirty,” and mention of climbing a telegraph pole.
“We were amazed to see just how much of a difference language makes,” said Kevin Brady, human resources director for Openreach, which is seeking to recruit women for 500 out of 2,500 new engineering jobs this year — 10 times historic levels. “We hope that this will be the catalyst for helping to break down barriers stopping women from considering a role in engineering.”
While 80 percent of women said they would not consider working in engineering, 56 percent were interested in the job once the advertisement had been rephrased, including replacing the word “engineer” with “network coordinator.”
The new ad also listed skills in more neutral language, stipulating that applicants should not be afraid of heights and be good at getting things done.
Just more than 3 percent of Openreach engineers are women, compared with 11 percent of engineers nationally.
With one-quarter of respondents, who were aged 18 to 55, saying they still believed some roles were more suited to men, the researchers said the findings had implications for many other industries.
British House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee Chairwoman Caroline Nokes said encouraging more women into engineering had been a battle for decades.
“This study takes a big step towards removing barriers which would stop women even considering themselves for roles they are perfectly capable of doing,” she said.
The study, carried out with linguistic specialists Linguistic Landscapes, also showed that 55 percent of respondents were possibly considering a new career because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo, enthusiastic slackers share their tips: Fill up a thermos with whiskey, do planks or stretches in the work pantry at regular intervals, drink liters of water to prompt lots of trips to the toilet on work time, and, once there, spend time on social media or playing games on your phone. “Not working hard is everyone’s basic right,” one commenter wrote. “With or without legal protection, everyone has the right to not work hard.” Young Chinese people are pushing back against an engrained culture of overwork, and embracing a philosophy of laziness known as “touching
‘STUNNED’: With help from an official at the US Department of Justice, Donald Trump reportedly planned to oust the acting attorney general in a bid to overturn the election Former US president Donald Trump was at his Florida resort on Saturday, beginning post-presidency life while US President Joe Biden settled into the White House, but in Washington and beyond, the chaos of the 45th president’s final days in office continued to throw out damaging aftershocks. In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said that Trump plotted with an official at the US Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state. Meanwhile, former acting US secretary of defense Christopher Miller made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that
Boeing set a target of designing and certifying its jetliners to fly on 100 percent sustainable fuels by 2030, amid rising pressure on planemakers to take climate change seriously. Regulators allow a 50-50 blend of sustainable and conventional fuels, and Boeing on Friday said it would work with authorities to raise the limit. Rival Airbus is considering another tack: a futuristic lineup of hydrogen-powered aircraft that would reach the skies by 2035. The aircraft manufacturers face growing public clamor to cut emissions in the aviation industry, which added more than 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in 2019, according to
Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh on Thursday resigned following a protest over a hospital’s treatment of a new mother who tested positive for COVID-19. Khurelsukh, whose Mongolian People’s Party holds a strong majority in the parliament known as the State Great Khural, stepped down after accusing Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga of the Democratic Party of orchestrating a political crisis. A small protest broke out in the capital, Ulan Bator, on Wednesday after TV footage appeared of a woman who had just given birth being escorted in slippers and a thin robe from the maternity ward to a special wing for COVID-19 patients