Job Descriptions

Wording in Job Descriptions and Advertising

Research showed how changing the wording in the job description can reduce the unconscious bias towards male recruitment. Importantly, the research showed that the changing of words did not lead to a reduction in males applying (L. Norman, 2015).

The links below provide further information in how to review and change your job descriptions and adverts to reduce gender bias and widen your talent pool:

How to take gender bias out of your job ads

10 Ways to remove gender bias from job descriptions

Glassdoor reported in 2014 that the diversity of an organisation is one of the five key factors that attract /deter people from applying. Promoting diversity in all communications will attract more interest from skilled people (How to Build a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program, 2020).

Mixed Gender Review & Interview Panels

The starting point for women being represented more equally in coaching is for sports organisations to aim for gender equality on their senior management team, the Board and committees. These are the key decision-makers in the sport and should be role models for the rest of the organisation. Greater representation by women at decision making level should allow for greater representation throughout the

workforce, including coaching.

Ensuring more women are present on review and interview panels will make an already tense situation less intimidating for female applicants, and the diversity will bring a different viewpoint to the decision-making process.

Unconscious Bias

It is crucial for decision-makers to recognise the possible impact of “unconscious bias”, which affects us all in recruiting new staff. People tend to recruit people who look and think like them. Awareness and positive action to limit unconscious bias in recruitment is therefore important in ensuring access to roles for women. A diverse interview panel can also help limit issues of unconscious bias.

“Ultimately the reason for a lack of women having the top jobs is because the people hiring for these jobs tend to hire in their own image – hence a lack of diversity in the men’s and women’s game. The aim is to ensure the same opportunities are present for both men and women in both the men’s and women’s game, but it seems to be one rule for one and not the other. Should every coach in the men’s game be a man? No. Should every coach in the women’s game be a woman? No. Both sides of the game should be open to the best coach. That, at the moment, is not the case.”

Vicky Huyton, Female Coaching Network, 2019

Chapter 2: Recruitment Suggested Actions

  • Ensure your organisation has a transparent recruitment process in place whereby all application shortlisting, interviews and feedback stages have both women and men on the panel.

  • Women want details prior to applying for a coaching role or taking their first step into coaching. Put measures in place in your organisation to ensure this information is available and easily accessible to those interested.

  • With all job descriptions, provide contact details of someone whom women can contact to discuss the job and seek more information before applying.

  • Review and change your job descriptions and adverts to reduce gender bias.

  • Ensure women are present on all review and interview panels.

  • Introduce a gender policy that helps ensure women make the list of shortlisted candidates for interview. E.g. if five interviews are taking place, at least two females must be included.

View your action list