London Heathrow engages AI program to help write unbiased job descriptions

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With several new job vacancies on the horizon due to the planned addition of a third-runway, London Heathrow Airport will use augmented writing platform Textio to highlight unconscious bias in the airport’s job listings.

The move ensures that the airport uses the most inclusive language to publicize its job opportunities, with the aim of encouraging more historically underrepresented people to apply for roles.

Textio works by scanning text and comparing it to over 370 million other live job listings, before suggesting more inclusive language. The augmented writing program considers the local language, the sector, as well as the level of the role being listed to work out the most appropriate wording.

Companies using Textio have the option to become part of an anonymized data exchange which allows their applicant and employee data to be analyzed so that the program can see which words lead to the most inclusive response.

The software uses a combination of natural language processing and AI to constantly update itself on which language patterns attract the most diverse mix and help companies fill roles faster with more qualified applicants.

On average, Textio’s customers report a 23% increase in the number of female candidates applying for roles, and fill roles two weeks faster after using the software.

Heathrow will also launch a Career Returners program this September, supporting men and women who have taken a career break of two years or more, such as parents and carers, as they return to the workplace.

Fiona Tice, talent and development director, London Heathrow, 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.”

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Dan joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As assistant editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editors with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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