Last week I attended a W.I.T. short round table session. As a W.I.T. myself I always feel obligated to attend but apparently I’m the only woman that does because the host and I were the only women in the room. There were also 2 men. That’s it; four of us. All of the other 80 of so people in attendance went elsewhere. I always regret attending these sessions and given the turn out, I suspect that a lot of other people do too. But this time is was different. I actually learned something and enjoyed the small group discussion.
The topic revolved around an article published the day before by CNN Money. (http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/20/technology/unitive-diversity/index.html) CNN reported on a finding that the language used in a job advertisement can lead more men to apply for the job than women. Since I’m a business owner that has had difficulty getting women to apply for the jobs I have to offer my interested was definitely peaked.
We all agreed that we disagreed with the labeling of individual words as masculine and feminine but the bulk of the research did ring true for us – together a group of words convey a glimpse into the work environment. The top ad conveyed to women that this was going to be an alpha male machismo work place. The bottom ad conveyed an environment where the workplace is more friendly. It was noted from both women in attendance that since we’ve been in this business for 20+ years that we’ve grown immune to differences in language and perhaps that because we were both pretty early into this career that we may have had a natural thick skin for this kind of thing. But not everyone does and so I have to take a look at my job postings to see if I’m unintentionally scaring of female applicants.
I learned something new that I’d never considered before. We had a great open conversation among our small group. I left with an action to take. This is what made this the first W.I.T session that I haven’t regretted attending.
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