Standards Australia’s new standard on Gender Inclusive Job Evaluation and Grading (AS 5376-2012) says gender bias could occur when employers described, analysed, evaluated and graded jobs. Sometimes, the way factors or job guidelines were worded implied gender assumption or characteristics often associated with a particular gender. Some job titles, like firemen or secretaries, could contribute to assumptions about gender and the nature of work. The standard said potential jobholders’ sex should not be identified in job descriptions. In particular, personal pronouns, like his/her or he/she, should not be used. Gender bias could creep into the language used to describe jobs. “For example, there may be a tendency to describe jobs typically done by men in a more technical or complex way,” the standard said. Care should be taken to ensure aspects of jobs typically done by women were not omitted or under-described, and features typically characterising men’s jobs were not over-emphasised. To mitigate gender bias risks, it said employers must become aware of the risks and formulate ways to manage them.
Source: Discrimination Alert, 18 June 2012.