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IACM 2022

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Identities between the lines: Re-aligning gender and professional identities by altering job advertisement language

Extant theory suggests that masculine language in job advertisements for male-dominated jobs deter women from applying because it highlights the incongruence between their gender and professional identities. However, research on the dynamic nature of identity suggests that men can also differ in the extent to which they identify with the male identity. We build theory to explain how a “gender de-biasing” intervention on masculine language in job advertisements increases gender diversity of applicant pools by attracting not only women, but also men who do nota strongly identify with masculinity. Across four studies in the lab and the field, we find that removing masculine language from job postings leads to an increase in application rates from both women and men who identify as less masculine.

Joyce He
UCLA Anderson School of Management
United States

Sonia Kang
University of Toronto Rotman School of Management


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