Do Women Avoid Applying For Jobs in Male Oriented Industries Because of The Application Form?


Traditionally, industry areas such as transportation and construction have been male dominated. Whilst times are slowly changing, are the questions and skills mentioned on application forms in these areas making women think twice about applying?

It has come to light that many women may be put off applying for jobs in traditional male dominated areas and industries because the application form specifically asks for prior relevant experience. Because of the lack of female workers in these industries in the past, surely that means that women are on the back foot from the get-go?

Application forms which are deemed to be restrictive help to equally restrict the number of new female workers emerging in these previously male dominated areas. As such, a lack of vision from a female perspective occurs.

Of course, application forms are often anonymised when it comes to sensitive questions, such as race, religion, age, etc, but what about gender? Should gender be an anonymised question, or one which isn’t even asked? Does it matter whether someone is male or female provided they can prove they can do the job, regardless of the industry?

The fact that many application forms are also asking for specific past experience which is related to that particular industry automatically takes many females out of the race. So, instead, should we be asking for transferrable skills? Or asking for suggestions on scenarios? A more diverse process for recruitment will ensure that females are given an equal chance to enter into these previously male oriented industries, to create the change we so badly need in the future, and to give an extra dimension of skills to organisations. These changes are also extremely simple to make.

Most application forms are now done online, making it very easy to create changes to the ways in which organisations seek out new talent, be it male or female. A more gender anonymous application form, which doesn’t discriminate on the basis of no previous experience in that exact specific role or industry is called for urgently.

By creating these changes, organisations within these industries will be able to work more efficiently, more effectively, and have a full workforce with diverse skills, not just those which have traditionally been linked to that particular role. A full and equal workforce of men and women creates not only balance, but productivity too.