Thames Water sees major surge in female job applicants after removing ‘masculine’ language

Olivia Petter
·1-min read
Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

A sewage company has attracted more female applicants for a job after removing “masculine” words from the advertisement.

Thames Water, which is one of the biggest water suppliers in London and southern England, had been looking for a sewage works technician.

Initially, just eight per cent of the applicants were women, prompting the company to use software to scan the advertisement and identify phrases that might put female appliants off.

Words including “competitive”, “confident” and “champion” were singled out and therefore removed.

The requirement “needs to have worked outdoors in a manual role” was also taken out of the advert.

Such words and phrases were identified as “masculine coded” by the software and were considered off-putting to female applicants.

They were replaced with phrases such as “we welcome people who want to learn and be team players”.

The changes resulted in a major increase in female applicants.

After the new advert was released, 46 per cent of the applicants were women.

Thames Water has since vowed to take a similar approach with future adverts to ensure it has a diverse workforce.

Currently, 33 per cent of the company’s total headcount is female.

That figure puts Thames Water ahead of other utility companies, where, on average, just one-fifth of employees are women.

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