Men Will Not Apply For Jobs Which Seek Caring Applicants

Now here is a bizarre twist on the usual story line – about hiring practices which explicitly or implicitly discriminate against people in certain protected classes, and sometimes do so by using coded language in advertisements.

It seems that, according to a study, job listings which ask for applicants who are “sympathetic,” “empathetic,” “caring,” or focused on “families,” turn men off and they apply in lower numbers.

The New York Times reported that one reason is that “these so-called pink-collar jobs are mostly done by women, and that turns off some men.”  These jobs are mostly health care jobs, and the jobs are growing fast, but not attracting men, even out-of-work men.

“Employers have something to do with that: An analysis of listings for the 14 fastest-growing jobs from 2014 to 2024 found that they used feminine language, which has been statistically shown to attract women and deter men.”

What a commentary on our society, don’t you think?  The reporter said that “Societal expectations and stigmas concerning masculinity deter men from feminine jobs, social scientists say, so some health care employers have tried to use more masculine language to appeal to men, like talking about the “adrenaline rush” of being an operating room nurse.”

The cited study suggested that gender-neutral language is most effective to reach eligible men.  “There is a benefit to the employer in changing the wording. Gender-neutral language fills jobs 14 days faster than posts with a masculine or feminine bias.”

Takeaway:  You got me!


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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]