Men don’t apply to job listings they see as “feminine,” and as a result are losing out on careers in the fastest-growing industries

“Women’s work”
“Women’s work”
Image: Reuters/ Jonathan Ernst
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Men can be sympathetic, empathetic, and caring. But they seem to not want to identify that way.

Textio, a Seattle-based artificial intelligence start-up that helps companies improve their recruitment strategies, analyzed their database of 50 million job listings and found that US job listings that use more “feminine” words to describe desirable candidate traits attracted fewer male applicants.

For example, Textio found that listings for home health aides frequently used words such as “sympathetic,” ”care,” “fosters,” “empathy,” and “families”—and 89% of home health aides are women.

Meanwhile, job listings for cartographers that used masculine language and frequently employed words such as “manage,” “forces,” “exceptional,” “proven,” and “superior” attracted male applicants. No surprise: 70% of cartographers are men.

Overall, Textio’s “gender tone” rating for job listings found that American men are losing out on jobs in some of the fields that are growing the fastest. According to predictions by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the most rapidly growing jobs in the country from 2014 to 2024 will be occupational therapy assistants, physical therapy assistants, and home health aides—which are currently between 68% to 89% female, The New York Times reports. Meanwhile, the two occupations that are predicted to decline the fastest are locomotive firers and motor vehicle electronics installers and repairer—both are over 95% male.

If you want to test whether your job listing is likely to attract men or women, this gender decoder might help.