Gender Neutral

It’s been reported that writing adverts using gender-neutral terms results in jobs filling faster than those with masculine or feminine phrasing.

If this is the case, why wouldn’t you try and incorporate non-gender-specific wording into your adverts? Here are a few thoughts from Spider on how to get it right.

  • Use gender-neutral job titles, for example, Chairperson instead of Chairman or Midday Supervisor instead of Dinner Ladies.
  • Mention flexibility, part-time hours, job-shares and childcare voucher schemes but don’t talk about working mums refer to the applicants as working parents.
  • Use both masculine and feminine wording in equal measure, for example, masculine words could be competitive, challenging, ambitious, driven and feminine words; support, depend, responsibilities or compassionate.

There is no point writing a gender-neutral advert and then not following through when it comes to interview/office practices. So, we suggest:

  • Make sure all names are removed from CVs given to the hiring manager for review.
  • Have a consistent recruitment process for all.
  • Ask the same interview questions irrespective of the candidate’s gender, race, sexuality or faith.
  • Have a fair and transparent salary scheme by using a grading system across the whole company and pay a set salary for a set grade irrespective of gender.
  • Be an ambassador for shared parental leave. Currently, only 2% of couples take this up, so actively promote and create an environment where either parent taking parental leave is culturally accepted.

These small steps can start to make great waves when it comes to eliminating gender discrimination in the workplace. We can subliminally encourage women to apply for more roles in male-dominated sectors, such as construction, engineering and technology and men to apply for roles normally dominated by women, such as midwifery, childcare or beauty and healthcare.

If you’d like any further advice on how to write a great gender-neutral advert give us a call on 01473 276146. For more details on Spider and what we do, visit