Gender Diverse Hiring Practices: closing the gap between companies & candidates

Written by Antoinet Van Dalen, Contributor, January 2021

Through my experience as a founder of a solutions-based platform for workplace gender balance in the tech sector, I regularly speak with companies about their challenge to hire more women. I work to solve the challenges that arise when hiring women in positions where they are underrepresented at one hand, and more specifically, with female job seekers who would like to get hired in those positions (for instance at top management level) on the other hand.

Even though there are less women in certain fields (where upskilling or reskilling of women is required*) or at top management level, we cannot say that there are no women available at all or say that companies do not want to hire more gender diverse teams.

When it comes to hearing about new career opportunities, women are just as interested as men. LinkedIn’s recent Gender Insights Report by Tockey & Ignatova (n.d) revealed that 88% of women are open to new job opportunities compared with 90% of men, and they view jobs in almost equal numbers.

Despite these similarities, something happens between the awareness and application stages. LinkedIn’s data shows that women are 16% less likely than men to apply for a job they’ve viewed, often because they feel that they’re not 100% qualified for the role. And since according to Johnson, Hekman & Chan (2016) a woman’s chances of being hired are essentially zero if she is the only female finalist for a role, nurturing a healthy gender balance from the get-go can help ensure more women make it through the pipeline to the other side.

What can you do as a company to attract more women? How can you hire more gender diverse teams? In this article, you’ll find a few of my tips to create a gender diverse workplace as a company.


1.Find out where you stand on gender diversity

Are you convinced that gender diversity in companies matters? Do you know why you want to attract more women? How does your workforce look like and how do you want it to look like in the future? In order to build and hire diverse teams it is important to ask yourself the right questions and find out where you stand as for gender diversity. If you do not understand what gender diversity can do, then start with finding out in order to define how to do it and what it should be for your company. If you are already convinced, then think about how you would like your workforce to look like and set goals to achieve it. The phase you’re in as a company should be the starting point of your gender diversity strategy and the realisation of it.


2. Be true and sincere about who you are as a company

Do not underestimate the power of sincerity and honesty as a company. We all come from the same world and pretty much all companies look the same when it comes to gender diverse teams. Having a gender diversity strategy allows you to be honest about your actual situation, what you believe in as a company and what you’re doing to become who you want to be. The trajectory to gender diversity and your belief in gender diverse teams is more powerful and appealing to candidates than your actual here and now without any vision on this topic.


3. Try out new things: creating gender diverse teams is not rocket science

Gender Diversity is a people’s thing and therefore there is no “one size fits all” methodology. Every company has it’s own company culture, workforce, goals and proper values. What works for a certain company in a particular context won’t necessarily work for another company at any given time. Therefore, dare to try out new things and ways to build those teams. Try to find out what works for you as a company.


4. Publish gender inclusive jobs ads and descriptions

This is a classic tip, but it works. Check out this example conducted by the UK government via the World Economic Forum (Marchant, 2019):

Zurich Insurance put 6 words in its job ads and saw applications from women rocket. In 2019 this company added part-time, job share and flexible working to 80% of their UK ads. The proportion of women applicants rose 16%, female applications for senior management jobs went up by 19% and the number of women hired for top roles increased by a third. The total number of applications more than doubled suggesting that flexible working is attractive to men, too. The experiment was part of a study commissioned by the UK governement to work out what was blocking women’s career progression. It revealed that a lack of flexible working deters women from applying.


5. Find out about the best places to source women

If women aren’t even getting into your recruiting pipeline, you’re going to struggle to improve the diversity of your workforce. Following these best practices and tips during the early stages of the hiring process, however, can help you build a solid pipeline that keeps women engaged in the process and interested in your jobs.

For more insights into how men and women approach the job hunt differently, download the full Gender Insights Report by Tockey & Ignatova (n.d) today.


6. Work with a gender diversity expert in your hiring process



7. Say that you care about gender diversity on your website


Written by Antoinet Van Dalen

About the Author
About the Author

Antoinet Van Dalen is the Founder of Fireside and is currently aCustomer Success Manager at Talentsoft

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Humans of HR.


Notes

*The largest gender gaps exist in emerging jobs driving the new economy (…) Instead, we must invest in increasing the number of women in the workforce with these skills, either through traditional education pathways, or through non-traditional reskilling and up-skilling efforts from educators, employers and public sector stakeholders. Here’s how to skill women to be ready for the jobs of tomorrow, World Economic Forum (Duke, 2019).



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The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

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References


Duke, S. (2019). Here’s how to skill women to be ready for the jobs of tomorrow. World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/12/gender-gap-emerging-jobs-disruptive-tech-skills/

Eurofound (2016), The gender employment gap: Challenges and solutions, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/report/2016/labour-market/the-gender-employment-gap-challenges-and-solutions

Johnson, S. K., Hekman, D. R., & Chan, E. T. (2016). If there’s only one woman in your candidate pool, there’s statistically no chance she’ll be hired. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2016/04/if-theres-only-one-woman-in-your-candidate-pool-theres-statistically-no-chance-shell-be-hired

Marchant, N. (2020). Zurich added these 6 words to job adverts and more women applied. World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/12/zurich-flexible-working-women-diversity/

McLaren, S. (2019). 8 tips to improve the gender diversity of your recruiting pipeline. https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/diversity/2019/8-tips-to-improve-gender-diversity-of-recruiting-pipeline

Tockey , D., & Ignatova , M. (n.d). Gender insights report. LinkedIn; LinkedIn. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/resources/talent-strategy/gender-balance-report

World Economic Forum. (2019). Global gender gap report 2020. World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/reports/gender-gap-2020-report-100-years-pay-equality/

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