There is a job posting I saw on the side:

Wanted: Python Developer (m/f) at Ableton AG (Berlin, Germany)

Two things come to mind:

  • "Male or Female", which just seems odd, or
  • "Monday through Friday", which seems more relevant, but also strange to put in the job title.

Anyone know what this means?


Your first thought was the right one: It stands for Male/Female. In German job offers, the term (m/w) (männlich/weiblich -> male/female) is used.

This comes from the fact that in German, nouns like job descriptions have both a male and a female form (e.g. Lehrer and Lehrerin for teacher). Since companies want to show that they are open to male and female applicants, but always writing both forms is a waste of time/space/letters/bandwidth, the form Job Title (m/w) came to be.

The advertisement you read was obviously translated by someone who didn't think of the fact that English does not have any gender distinction in job titles.

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    That's not anywhere near as cool as I was hoping. – TheTXI Jul 28 '09 at 17:48
  • Brilliant, thanks for satisfying my curiosity, which demands I find out thins that I really don't need to know :-) – Kyle Brandt Jul 28 '09 at 18:09
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    @TheTXI, actually, that is much cooler than I was hoping. I don't care if he's making it up. That answer is awesome. For the record, I don't think he's making it up. – devinb Jul 28 '09 at 18:21
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    It would be nice if there was a way to flag these ads so they can update their listings. – ThomasW Aug 10 '15 at 7:14
  • English doesn't have gender distinction in job titles? How about stewardess or waitress? :) – Stefan Monov Aug 23 '16 at 14:16
  • That sucks, it's kind of discriminatory if you ask me. – Javier Mendonça Oct 26 '17 at 10:51
  • @Javier: How so? I think it is the exact opposite: Non discriminatory. – Treb Oct 26 '17 at 14:58
  • @Treb well on the one hand it is very clear what gender they want to certain position which is fine, but on the other hand why would you even restrict a job to a certain gender? – Javier Mendonça Oct 30 '17 at 8:24
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    @Javier: I think you misunderstand the intention: They explicitly want both genders to apply, hence m/w (male/female). BTW, you won't find any job posting asking for only male or only female applicants in Germany - that company could easily be sued for discrimination. – Treb Nov 13 '17 at 17:16

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