I must admit I’ve been guilty of touting this very same stat:

Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.

And I’ve heard others using similar, but until reading this I’ve never really questioned why, and the article (from 2014 I might add) you'll find below gives a great explanation.

I see all too often job adverts with a mind numbing number of requirements. Most of which you can’t actually measure. How many times have you seen 'strong knowledge of'  or 'good communication skills'.

Not only will you have seen them, you have typed them. But if you make a scale of 1-100 and ask people to place ‘good’, on that scale I’d put money on the fact the points will be in different places.

To some my Excel skills are ‘amazing’ because in a couple of minutes I can pivot a large data set and find the stat that I was looking for. I see that as a basic level, and if any of the people I work with who I hold as Excel ‘wizards’ (because surely they use magic to do what they do) were told my excel skills were amazing, it would be met with laughs, if not on the outside, for sure on the inside.

In short what I’m trying to say is that; good, excellent, strong etc… are not words that should appear in the ‘minimum requirements’ or ‘Essential skills’ list. Purely for the simple reason you can’t measure the hiring managers expectation.

To bring it back to gender, it’ll also reduce the number of females applying, because they play by the rules. What I'm saying above is that quite often those 'rules' are simply excessive, and stopping you from achieving your goal.

{Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.

 https://hbr.org/2014/08/why-women-dont-apply-for-jobs-unle

Written by Lee Griffiths, Talent Insight and Attraction Manager.