Australia’s leading IT services company Atlassian is wooing more women to join its work force. Accordingly, it is reworking its job advertisements in making them more attractive to female programmers and designers.
The Nasdaq-listed technology company employs 1400 personnel in Australia, the US and the Netherlands. In Sydney, it has stationed 35 percent of the workforce. Atlassian’s diversity data, released on Wednesday, showed that its female representation in categories of engineers, product managers designers and technical staff was only 14 percent.
To reduce the gender gap, Atlassian has started reworking its job descriptions under the software, Textio, to exclude all biased words and phrases.
For example, the company will be using the word “specialist” in place of “expert” in job descriptions. It found more female candidates responding to job advertisements when a specialist is hired. It also avoided words such as “ninja.”
Explaining the process, co-founder Scott Farquhar said tech companies like Atlassian offered great opportunities for women from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and not just “white men” like himself.
Atlassian also restricted its job criteria to five areas and stopped seeking requirements like degrees and certifications. This is because minorities will never apply for a job unless they have the desired requirements, reports The Australian Financial Review.
An equal opportunity statement is another highlight of the job advertisements. It says they “never discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or marital, veteran, or disability status.”
Atlassian is also running internship programs for recruiting female computer science students and encouraging them to join the company after their studies.
Farquhar said under-representation of females in technical roles meant missing out on lucrative salaries in the tech industry. Reports had said technology graduates at Atlassian are being paid at par with investment bankers, consultants and accountants.
Despite the International Women’s Day theme of “Pledge for Parity” women representation in Australian workforce still calls for more improvement. For the past decade, there was only a marginal improvement on that front, according to Roymorgan Research.
In the past 12 months to January 2016, 54.5 percent of Australian women had been employed, up from 52.5 percent in January 2006. The increase is more in the proportion of women working part time (26.2 percent, up from 25.7 percent) and full time (28.3 percent, up from 26.8 percent). At the same time, the proportion of employed men fell by 3.5 percent in the full time sector.