Agency and communion in job advertisements: A replication study

Pietraszkiewicz, Agnieszka; Formanowicz, Magdalena M.; Müller, Petra; Sczesny, Sabine (1 June 2019). Agency and communion in job advertisements: A replication study (Unpublished). In: 19th EAWOP Congress (European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology) - "Working for the greater good: Inspiring people, designing jobs and leading organizations for a more inclusive society". Turin, Italy. 29.05.-01.06.2019.

Purpose: Past research on language has found — in correspondence with gender stereotypes — that advertisements for male-dominated jobs, such as engineer or computer programmer, use more agentic wording than those for female-dominated jobs, such as registered nurse or administrative assistant (Gaucher, Friesen, & Kay, 2011). This pre-dominance of either agentic or communal wording in ads might contribute to the traditional gender division of labor, as it reduces women’s and men’s interest to apply for a job dominated by the other sex. Therefore, it is important to monitor whether the wording in real-world job advertisements still differs between male-and female-dominated jobs which is the aim of the present research.
Methodology: Following, the methodology developed by Gaucher and her colleagues (2011), we used current (2017 vs. 2008) and more comprehensive dataset (N = 480,596 vs. N = 456) of real-world job advertisements, and a computerized algorithm, instead of manual coding, to analyze the data.
Results: Male-dominated jobs are still advertised using more agentic words than female-dominated jobs. Whereas Gaucher et al. did not find a difference in communal wording, we found that female-dominated jobs consisted of more communal wording than male-dominated jobs.
Limitations: The study is observational in its nature and its results only suggest that gendered wording in real job advertisements exists. Practical implications: The results are discussed in reference to the persistence of the gender status quo.
Originality/Value: To our knowledge, the research is the first to use a large sample of real job advertisements to monitor gendered wording.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Neuroscience and Social Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Pietraszkiewicz, Agnieszka, Formanowicz, Magdalena Maria, Müller, Petra, Sczesny, Sabine


100 Philosophy
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Andrea Gassmann-Suter

Date Deposited:

16 Apr 2020 15:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:37


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