Careers

Men refuse to apply for jobs that use “feminine” words

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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Bafflingly, men have been refusing to apply for jobs that have “feminine” words in their adverts.

According to a new US study, men have been put off from applying for jobs that used words such as “sympathetic”, “caring” and “empathetic” in their adverts, even if they were currently out of work themselves.

These feminine words were often found in adverts for health care jobs, which is one of the fastest growing industries in America.

Men are put off from applying to health care roles because of feminine language

Men are put off from applying to health care roles because of feminine language

The study was conducted by researchers at Textio, a job advert comparison site, who analysed the 50 million job listings on the site’s database.

They found that listings for home health aides – which is one of the fastest growing job areas and a typically female-dominated role – used key words such as fosters, empathy, families, sympathetic and care. The words typically repelled men and resulted in women getting the jobs.



In comparison, listings for cartographers – a typically male-dominated role – used words such as manage, forces, superior, proven and exceptional. These words were found to appeal to men, who would therefore apply for the jobs.

The researchers pointed out that the “masculine” attributes such as “ exceptional” and “proven” were just as applicable to jobs in the health care industry as they were to cartographer jobs.

And with the health care industry expected to grow 38% by 2024, perhaps it’s time for these men to stop shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to finding a job...

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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