Forbes Writer: Using ‘Ninja’ In a Job Listing Is Sexist, Deters Women From Applying

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By Jillian Kay Melchior | 1:54 pm, December 15, 2016

Tech start-ups and other employers have increasingly used the word “ninja” in job listings—and that’s super problematic, according to one Forbes contributor.

“While the word may make the job sound exciting, it may also dissuade women from applying, as society tends to regard ‘ninja’ as masculine,” writes Carmen Nobel. (At least she doesn’t claim it’s cultural appropriation, too.)

Nobel bemoans that, according to the job search site Indeed.com, use of the word “ninja” in employment ads has increased almost 400 percent between 2012 and 2016.

(Thought: Maybe a female job-seeker who finds the word “ninja” too triggering to apply is not quite cut out for the post-college, post-coddled workplace.)

Alas, Nobel is not the first to fixate on supposedly “gendered language” during the job hunt.

Social scientists with too much time on their hands with clearly important jobs at the University of Waterloo and Duke University have pulled together an entire list of adjectives and verbs deemed “masculine” or “feminine.”

Last month, a Cambridge professor warned against letters of recommendation that describe female scientists as “hard-working” or “kind,” claiming those were gendered words that might hurt their job prospects. And there’s even a gender-bias calculator for letters of rec.

We’re still not sure how it qualifies as feminism to avoid words that are supposedly female-associated (bad) in favor of supposedly male-associated (good) alternatives.

But here’s one gender-neutral trait that works well in any industry: critical thinking. Social science grads need not apply.

Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.

 

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