Are you building a more inclusive workplace?

Fortunately, Inclusion has been an important topic in universities, non-profits organizations, research institutions, and large corporate companies for a couple of decades. But what does Inclusion mean? First, it is worth making a small remark about types of diversity. 

The first dimension of diversity includes age, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and other cultural dimensions. 

When it comes to the workplace, it means that no one is excluded deliberately or unintentionally or just because of a bias during the selection process, regardless of their background. In other words, People with all kinds of differences and disabilities feel comfortable and welcome with their skills and responsibilities. 

Creating an inclusive workspace where everyone feels welcomed has its benefits:

 

 

  • Increase Employee morale
  • Boost innovation, fresh ideas, and creativity among the staff
  • Foster problem-solving skills throughout the organization
  • It directly tackles prejudices and racism
  • Reduce turnover
  • Scale up your talent pool

 

 

So, how to have a more inclusive company? A more inclusive workplace starts with writing job descriptions that attract a diverse pool of candidates.

 

Language and culture are constantly evolving and changing, so it is essential to review and adapt the way we communicate our business to candidates and to include a more inclusive approach. 

Language shapes reality and the way we think, so beginning from a more inclusive language is one of the first steps to ensure an inclusive workplace.


1. Avoid gendered coded language.

Adopting neutral gender language can help make your job ads non-discriminatory. Make sure that you are using pronouns that are not explicitly related to one gender over another. For example, writing a job description in English, it's worth making use of the pronoun "you" instead of "he" or "she." The usage of "they" is also good practice; however, using the pronoun "you" will give your job ads a touch of proximity with the candidates.

 

Gendered language is also lying in adjectives such as "strong," "kickass," "bossy," "Pushy," "ambitious," most of which can be thought of as masculine words. As well, it's essential to pay attention to expressions such as "maternity leave," where we can use the word "parental leave." A great tool to make sure you removed gendered language from your ads is Gender Decoder, a free online tool helpful in flagging gender-coded language when writing job descriptions.

 

A considerable amount of research shows that certain adjectives can really influence a candidate's decision when applying for a new job.

 

2. Write job description without jargon and unnecessary corporate-speak

One way to discourage talented professionals may be the excessive and unnecessary use of terminology in job descriptions. According to a Business in the Community (BITC) study, jargon and technicalities are among the most significant barriers to talented young candidates not applying for entry-level positions.

Acronyms like KPIs, SLAs, and P&L can also be hard to understand. Spell them out, or leave them out.

 

You might find this great online tool useful to spot jargon and make sure your job ads are clear and concise.

 

 

3. Create Accessible content

New researches show that people with dyslexia highlighted how job descriptions and standardized selection processes stop them from applying to particular jobs.

Good content is readable and effortless to experience. For this, write in a more accessible way as much as possible:

 

  • Keep paragraphs and sentences short.
  • Use white space to reduce visual noise.
  • Make a conscious usage of bold, italic, and subtitled text.
  • Use bullet points when listing requirements or skills to improve readability.
  • Make use of sans serif fonts such as Tahoma, Century Gothic, Open Sans, Arial.

 

Lastly, be keen to rethink and review your inclusive job description

Even if you think you got inclusive jobs description nailed, it's never a bad idea to double-check on your texts. 

Job descriptions are a living and changing genre that also reflects the social context in which we live. Therefore, a good practice is to ask for feedback on job ad texts to attract candidates.


 

Linda Giuliano
UX Designer & Marketing Strategist
 

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