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This job posting have surprised me a lot. It states that HTML/CSS Web Developers (female/male) are needed.

I do understand that in theory this depends on local laws, but out of my head I hardly can name a European country where it is legal to constraint sex, gender or age at all. You can not write something like "Python developer, blonde woman in twenties, heavily needed to join our team of seasoned professionals".

So the question is - shouldn't we just ban gender (as well as any non-professional characteristics) indication in job postings? Even if one is so generous that clearly states that he allows females as well :)

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Is this really that big a deal? I mean, has it happened more than once? =/ –  Purag Aug 29 '12 at 9:39
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Are they talking about trans genders. Bcoz. Now a days they are equally working like us. So, the company may not be interested in them! –  madhairsilence Aug 29 '12 at 9:41
    
@Purmou, And I've asked only once ))) To answer you seriously, I do believe that this nevertheless should be stated clear. –  shabunc Aug 29 '12 at 9:41
    
Male/Female means "Any" or "Only". My comment is apt for the Second one! –  madhairsilence Aug 29 '12 at 9:42
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The company is trying to show they are inclusive. Their goal is to encourage women to apply too. It is the politically correct thing to do these days. –  Martijn Pieters Aug 29 '12 at 9:46
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@Martijn Pieters: Uh, actually politically correct would be to not mention gender, hence not drawing any attention to the fact that there is a gender disparity in the field. –  Tudor Aug 29 '12 at 10:22
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@Tudor: I didn't say I agreed with the practice; it's what the hiring manager thinks he's doing. –  Martijn Pieters Aug 29 '12 at 10:23
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is this a trick question to flesh out the sexless within the community? –  prusswan Aug 29 '12 at 11:19
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4 Answers 4

up vote 48 down vote accepted

This is a German speaking company from Austria. In German the word Developer ("Der Entwickler") has a male gender, which means that it's very common to explicitly add that you welcome both sexes as the default (albeit strictest) grammatical meaning could be interpreted to exclude females (which would be "Die Entwicklerin").

That's a mindset you cannot shake easily, even if posting in English where this issue disappears on its own since "Developer" doesn't have a gender.

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I wasn't entirely sure about my German, but I was thinking it was something like that. –  Andrew's a Unitato Aug 29 '12 at 11:36
    
Same with Hebrew. Most nouns have both male and female words for them so we got two words for "developer". –  Shadow Wizard Aug 29 '12 at 12:27
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So the English equivalent would be advertising for "postmen and postwomen" –  AakashM Aug 29 '12 at 13:55
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Ah, the downsides of gendered nouns... Natural languages, you silly. –  Yawus Aug 29 '12 at 14:47
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In The Philippines, you can legally discriminate based on all three. Many job ads ask for a person of a certain sex and gender within a specific age range. I have noticed that quite a few companies basically just copy job ads they have on other sites directly into Careers, which I think is an egregious under utilization of the resource in many cases, but it's their ad.

Not being able to specify the same criteria as they would otherwise could present an employer with a conflict, if a candidate notices that age / sex / gender is not specified in the Careers version of the ad. I'm not sure that Careers wants to put that kind of barrier in front of companies governed by similar laws, which are similar in many parts of Asia.

With that being said, I think more could and should be done to help companies tailor their ad to better hone in on the audience they will receive. I pull feeds from Careers and while I find some of the ads quite clever and interesting, the majority of them really don't make me raise an eyebrow. These companies know how to fish, perhaps Careers could do a better job of helping them bait the proverbial hook.

Then again, I've never seen the employer view, or the process they go through to post an ad - so I'm speculating a bit. Recruiters can be .. difficult to deal with.

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imagine that links for pirate content or malware or whatever are legal in some country. as far as I understand (correct me if I'm wrong) such content will be exterminated from SE regardless what are exact law in a specific country. I'm not arguing or showing disagreement, though. Besides, if we are trying to keep in context the country, in Austria we can not discriminate based on any of these) –  shabunc Aug 29 '12 at 12:52
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@shabunc It is an interesting argument, but it's illegal for US employers and not (to my knowledge) illegal to just display an ad for a non-US company. Whereas linking to warez is a slightly different story, and has the context of international treaties. Still, you raise something to think about. –  Tim Post Aug 29 '12 at 13:16
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A few years ago, ity was quite common to see the (male/female) postfix on job postfix. Mostly driven from the "great plan" to balance the workforce between the sexes. So in order to be political correct, job postings include (male/female) or even (female/male) to be more equal than others.

Today it is more obvious to not discriminate base on gender, race etc. But companies still like to advertise their political correctnes.

A better way would be to include a sentence like "we are looking for the best candidate regardless of irrelevant properties like gender etc..". So we can add (human) for now until we find intelligent life on other planets.

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IMO, mentioning anything about gender does not help political correctness. It's like writing "black people are welcome to also apply because we are politically correct". What this does in fact is cast a spotlight on the fact that there is a gender issue in the field. I think job advertisers should just refrain from mentioning gender. Of course, I do not support banning the practice, I just don't recommend it. –  Tudor Aug 29 '12 at 10:27
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This was useful for candidates. In some areas a woman knows applying for some jobs is lost time, except if such a mention is present. –  dystroy Aug 29 '12 at 10:28
    
@dystroy, so what, companies wishing to indicate a lack of racism in there corporate culture should write something like - "Accepting black and asians as well"? –  shabunc Aug 29 '12 at 10:33
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And that, my friends, is why we have invented lawyers. Using a three page disclaimer to describe what common sense is. –  Toon Krijthe Aug 29 '12 at 10:35
    
@shabunc don't put it to extremes. I could have gone on looking for my first job, 20 years ago, if the rare companies accepting a man for the job I was looking for were precising it. Note that I'm not advocating for allowing it on carreers offers. –  dystroy Aug 29 '12 at 10:37
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The particular phrasing is a cultural issue. In the UK or US I would expect the same sentiment to be expressed something like

We welcome applications from any individuals regardless of ethnic origin, gender, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation or age. All applications will be considered on merit.

or more extremely

Fog Creek Software, Inc. does not discriminate in employment matters on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or any other protected class. We support workplace diversity.

or most likely no mention of non-work-related personal attributes at all.

I suspect the Careers policy is that anything goes so long as it's not offensive or illegal. Is this offensive or illegal? I don't think so..

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