Job Ads: Don’t Mention Gender Equality

by Etienne Besson on 7 December 2010

in Labor Law Switzerland,Recruitment

The other day I visited the career site of a well-known international company and saw that they added “m/f” (male/female) to the job titles. However, one position mentioned “f/m”.

job ad gender equality

In my opinion, that’s all the reasons you need for not mentioning the gender in a job ad. But there are more.

It’s Against The Law

In most countries it’s illegal to favor either men or women when publishing an open position.

In Switzerland the Gender Equality Act doesn’t specifically mention the publication of jobs ad, but generally prohibits any kind of discrimination against gender during the recruitment process.

It Doesn’t Make Sense

Mentioning that a position is available to both men and women looks weird.

But worst case it could give the impression that for the hiring company this wasn’t a complete no-brainer after all.

Maybe There’s Still A Slight Preference?

When each position features “m/f” except for one, does it mean that for this specific job there may be a slight preference for a woman?

But then this would also mean that men have better chances when applying for all the other jobs?

The Road To Hell

I know, good intentions and all that. Maybe some companies want to underline that they’re actively supporting gender equality. But we all know that humans make mistakes, especially when they hit “publish” without proof-reading what they just wrote.

So why take an unnecessary risk? Sometimes simple is just better.

In Conclusion

I could go on and on, but it would be a waste of time. So lets just assume that in this case the “f/m” mention was an honest typo.

And can we agree not to mention in job ads that the position is available to both men and women?

Everybody in favor say “aye”!


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