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Software taught to hide gender of job applicants

A clear difference in the language used by men and women on their CVs has been identified by hiring software provider Oleeo, in partnership with University College London.

A study of over 200,000 CVs from job applicants across the world shows that women are more likely to use words such as volunteer, assistant, organise and social, while male peers are more likely to use stronger sounding words such as engineer, analyst, investment and leadership.

Researchers warn that even if CVs are anonymised and a candidate’s gender is removed, there’s a potential for unconscious bias to creep in to the recruitment process due to the language being used. Oleeo CEO Charles Hipps said: “The first objective of our study was to establish if there are key identifiers that differentiate a male from a female candidate’s CV. We found that there are, with the language used in a female CV tending to be more emotive and gender identifiable. We’re now using these insights to train our prescriptive intelligence software so that, unlike humans, it learns to ignore these gender indicators when reviewing CVs.”

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