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August 13, 2018

Heathrow partners with Textio to remove gender bias in job adverts

London Heathrow Airport has partnered with Textio to use its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered solution to highlight unconscious bias in the airport’s job listings.

London Heathrow Airport has partnered with Textio to use its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered solution to highlight unconscious bias in the airport’s job listings.

Textio’s augmented writing platform will replace potentially off-putting words with more inclusive alternatives.

The exercise is aimed at encouraging underrepresented people to apply for roles created by the upcoming development of a third-runway.

Textio scans texts and matches it to more than 370 million other live job listings, before suggesting more inclusive language.

In order to suggest the most appropriate language for job listings, the augmented writing programme considers the local language, the sector, as well as the level of the role being listed. The recommendations are gained from real-world outcomes of job postings.

“It is crucial that we do all that we can to attract the most talented individuals to Heathrow and create more gender equality in our sector.”

Textio also allows companies using the solution to become part of an anonymised data exchange. This enables their applicant and employee data to be evaluated so that the programme can see which words lead to the most inclusive response.

Leveraging a blend of natural language processing and AI, the software constantly updates itself on the language patterns that attract the most diverse mix and therefore enables companies to fill roles faster with more qualified applicants.

Heathrow talent and development director Fiona Tice said: “We’re delighted to announce this latest raft of initiatives that will ensure that Heathrow recruits from a diverse and inclusive talent pool.

“As we continue to refine our expansion plans and look to significantly increase the number of people working at our airport, it is crucial that we do all that we can to attract the most talented individuals to Heathrow and create more gender equality in our sector.”

Textio’s customers have reported a 23% increase in the number of female candidates applying for roles and filled roles two weeks faster when using the software.

In September, Heathrow will roll out a career returners programme to support men and women who have taken a career break of two years or more as they return to the workplace.

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