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I mostly see job ads whit the title "Junior Software Developer (m/w)". I speak German and thus the thing between the brackets stands for "male"/"female". I don't know whether this also applies to other countries but in Germany at least this is absolutely the common case.

Why is this done? I mean it's not like someone would be surprised that a software developer can be female or male (in fact it's even illegal to exclude a specific gender from the hiring process).


Examples

StackOverflow:

StackOverflow mw

Heise.de (a German magazine):

Heise

t3n.de (also a German magazine):

t3n

  • @TheWanderingDevManager Yep :) Thanks. However, the accepted answer doesn't really address the question. I mean, okay, language and stuff. Still, nobody would ever assume that a job is only for a specific gender. – WorksOdd Aug 24 '16 at 12:51
  • @WorksOdd Another variant is "EntwicklerIn", where the capalized suffix is presumably to imply either gender. However, even that is probably not explicit enough. Explicit is better in this case, which is probably why it became common practice. It's like saying "his/her" etc. in English. Because if you say "his", then someone, somewhere, might assume you mean only male persons. – Brandin Aug 24 '16 at 12:54
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    @WorksOdd - still a duplicate, even if the answer isn't good enough. – The Wandering Dev Manager Aug 24 '16 at 13:13
  • @TheWanderingDevManager Yep, absolutely agree. Didn't want to contest that. – WorksOdd Aug 24 '16 at 13:26
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    @WorksOdd, in my youth most jobs were assumed to be only for one sex and they advertised them in separate sections. There are still plenty of people who would never consider interviewing or hiring a woman for a "man'"s job like software development. – HLGEM Aug 24 '16 at 13:29
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Yes, gender discrimination is illegal in many (all?) countries throughout the EU, including Germany.

The reason why companies still include the language is because there are people out there who actively look for mistakes that can be used for compensation litigation - you could refer to them as "discrimination litigation trolls".

If, for example, a company left out the "(m/w)" and used "Entwickler" (male form) in the title, the job ad is suddenly prejudicial to females and thus could be the basis for a gender discrimination suit.

It's just safer for companies to continue using "(m/w)" to avoid the possibility of that kind of litigation.

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