To further address bias in writing, Textio adds features to highlight ageism and ableism

Textio’s augmented writing work to help companies use the right language to find the right people for jobs — while eliminating bias — is expanding to include features related to ageism and ableism.
The Seattle-based startup announced Thursday that through its AI-powered natural language processing technology, an “age graph” has the ability to help writers find language that is inclusive of all age groups. And phrases that resonate with certain groups or may be alienating to potential job applicants are highlighted.
Textio data shows that a phrase such as “21st Century Skills,” for example, used when discussing digital literacy, can have the unintended consequence of alienating older job seekers. Textio cites further data that finds two out of three workers between ages 45 and 74 say they have seen or experienced age discrimination at work, and job seekers over age 35 cite it as a top obstacle to getting hired.
Textio is also adding reasonable accommodation guidance to help address the ableism bias that crops up in writing. The guidance allows writers to add information about the ways their company makes their workplace and application process accessible to candidates and employees who require additional accommodation.
The added language reportedly helps fill open roles faster than average.
While its technology has been previously available in Outlook, Gmail, and LinkedIn, Textio is now integrated in Greenhouse, makers of an applicant tracking system and recruiting software.
Six-year-old Textio has been raising more money of late. An SEC filing this month revealed a $7 million cash infusion.
Co-founder and CEO Kieran Snyder told VentureBeat that its tools, especially the new features geared toward reducing ageism and optimizing for inclusivity, will be important in an economy that has been so severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: Geek Wire

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