It's a question that I've often wondered, been asked, and even taken active steps to try to influence.
My personal belief is that; people are people. Gender, age, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation. None of that matters. Genuinely. What does matter is the individual’s ability to do the job they will eventually get paid to do.
There are however plenty of people out there who don’t realise the words they use or the way they phase things will impact the reader. And if it impacts the reader negatively, even though they may be more than capable of doing that jobs to an amazing standard, they’ll simply move on and apply elsewhere.
There are various technologies out there that can ‘read’ your advert for gender bias, call me a cynic, but I don’t think technology is the best placed medium to pick up on the subtleties of language. Circuits can’t pick up on the way an advert ‘feels’. I’m still open to being convinced, I just haven’t seen enough compelling evidence to convince me that using software like this isn't simply an easy way to tick that box.
And that's not the point of diversity.
Below is a study that was completed by a University in Belgium, it’s 12 pages long, lots of detail and ultimately an answer, happy reading!
Imagine, for example, a job ad requiring emotional stability for a job and women job seekers who believe that recruiters typically consider women to be highly emotional. Will women apply for a job that specifies "emotional stability" as a person requirement?