How words impact men and women in the workplace | Global Institute for Women’s Leadership

Global Institute for Women's Leadership

The Global Institute for Women’s Leadership advised LinkedIn on their report on the impact of language on women and men in the workplace.

The report analyses how men and women respond to and use language, incuding during job searches, interviews and when talking about their roles. It also gives recommendations for achieving a more inclusive workplace and recruitment process.

The report reveals that, even at similar levels of seniority, men and women use different words to describe their work experience and express themselves at work – men tend to focus more on their technical skills, women are more likely to reference their education and personal attributes. Other findings include:

  • Women prioritise terms that relate to their character to describe themselves in an interview, such as “likeable” (38 per cent of surveyed women and 29 per cent of men) and “supportive” (39 per cent of women and 32 per cent of men).
  • 44 per cent of women would be discouraged from applying for a role if the word “aggressive” was in the job description – but only a third of men felt the same.
  • Women tend to seek out positions that describe an adaptable workplace culture: positions that promoted flexible working (60 per cent), working from home (30 per cent) and medical benefits (45 per cent) were most popular amongst women. Flexibility is also increasingly important for male workers.


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