Men Won’t Apply for Job Postings That Use ‘Feminine’ Phrases

Too sympathetic. Photo: Romilly Lockyer/Getty Images

Men are refusing to apply for positions that use traditionally feminine phrasings in their job postings — such as sympathetic, families, and care — even though those are the types of positions that are actually growing, according to a new analysis.

A recent report in the New York Times showed that men, by and large, are refusing to take traditionally feminine jobs, even though “masculine” gigs are dwindling and positions that skew ever-so-slightly feminine — such as health-care jobs — are booming. As a result, there are more unemployed men and more unfulfilled jobs. Textio, an artificial-intelligence hiring start-up, decided to take that data one step further, and looked into the language used in postings for “pink-collar” jobs.

Through an analysis of its database of 50 million job listings, Textio found that, unsurprisingly, positions that traditionally attract women are more feminine in tone. Per Textio:

For example, job listings for home health aides (the pink-collar job that has the most feminine language on average and is 89% female, the third highest according to the NYT data) turn up the words sympathetic, care, fosters, empathy, and families.
On the other hand, job listings for cartographers (which averages the most masculine language and is 70% male) show words like manage, forces, exceptional, proven, and superior.

Textio pointed out that blue-collar workers have many skills and qualities that could actually benefit the health-care industry, and suggested that employers “target” those attributes in their job postings.

Men Won’t Apply for Job Postings That Use ‘Feminine’ Phrases