There has been a great emphasis on gender equality and addressing the gender wage gap in recent decades. Although tremendous efforts have been made in this aspect, there is still a fundamental lack of women’s representation in leadership roles.
Evidence by Pew Research Center ranked women better than or equal to men in seven of the eight primary leadership traits through a survey.
Some studies also show that women possess better leadership and communication skills than men. Yet they are still vastly underrepresented and receive less recognition for their contribution to the industry.
Despite 57% of recruiters being women, there is still much to be done regarding equality in the recruitment sector.
So what can women in recruitment do to ensure the success of their female counterparts?
Here are 4 ways to get started!
1. Closing Gender Bias
With so much talk around diversity, organizations continue to face significant challenges related to gender representation in the workforce. Gender bias remains a barrier to women’s advancing careers worldwide.
The first step to addressing gender bias in the workforce lies in diverse recruitment practices.
A study by McKinsey shows that women remain underrepresented, and women of color are the most underrepresented group. To increase the representation of women, organizations must start with their DEI initiatives.
Today, an effective Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative is much more than just a box to tick off or a workplace perk. DEI initiatives have become essential towards business growth.
To begin with, make sure your team is well informed about the importance of diversity and equal representation. If your employees aren’t aware of gender inequality, they won’t make changes to close the gap.
The next step lies in systemic change.
Becoming aware of your organization’s existing representation, gender balance, and policies will help identify where you are lacking.
2. Prioritize Diversity Hiring
As mentioned previously, gender bias is the main reason for gender inequality in the recruitment sector. Therefore, better hiring decisions that lead to a diverse selection process are best to address gender bias systemically.
Gender equality isn’t just a workplace perk.
Organizations are 15% more likely to perform better if they are gender diverse.
A survey by Mckinsey also revealed that for every 10% improvement in gender diversity, there is a 2-4% increase in business profits.
Without considering diverse hiring initiatives, organizations can unintentionally close themselves to female candidates.
Your hiring or interviewing panel should represent female employees adequately to create a gender-inclusive selection process. In addition, unconscious bias training for hiring managers and a blind recruitment process focusing on skills help eliminate gender bias.
Most importantly, as a recruiter, make sure you don’t outright reject female job seekers due to resume gaps.
Resume gaps are seen as a stigma for many employers. However, this reflects poorly on their diversity hiring initiatives and leads to lower opportunities for women-led talent.
3. Appoint Female Leaders
According to an analysis of female representation by Women in Recruitment, over two-thirds of recruitment firms have more than 50% female representation at the staff level.
In addition, two-fifths have more than 50% female representation at the recruitment/resource level. However, these figures drop to just 26% once we look at leadership teams.
Despite increasing awareness about gender imbalance, executive and C-suites positions are still male-dominated.
Gender equality in the workforce starts with adequate representation in leadership. Research by Forbes has shown that female employees are inspired by same-sex role models succeeding in leadership roles.
However, only 27% of female employees said they had a female role model in the workplace. If women aren’t being represented as leaders, how can there be role models for younger employees, inspiring them to strive for success?
As a result, higher female representation in leadership roles will also lead to more female employees and female promotions.
Female mentorship in recruitment is key for equipping female employees with skills, guidance, motivation, emotional support, and a role model to help them climb the ladder.
4. Take Initiative to Retain Female Talent
For employers, attracting women into organizations is just the initial stepping stone.
The true challenge for employers lies in retention and providing opportunities to female employees for future success.
With so much focus on gender equality and the representation of women, employers need to note issues faced by female workers.
For example, 66% of female employees state that family responsibilities are the most significant obstacle restricting further career progression.
Over 26% of employers said that they had initiatives to retain women in the workplace, such as; family-friendly policies, working around school hours, and female role models & mentors. In addition, 80% of recruitment firms offer flexible work arrangements. However, less than a quarter offer any maternity benefits.
As a primary caregiver, a women’s ability to progress in the workplace becomes threatened. Therefore, to successfully retain women in the workforce, employers need to make women a central part of the team and create an environment that acknowledges their responsibilities.
The evidence clearly demonstrates that organizations that foster gender diversity improve their retention rates.
Recruiters are responsible for establishing the best workplace and serving as a beacon of excellence for gender equality.
While there has been improvement in raising awareness of the need for equal opportunities amongst men and women, it is clear from these results that there is still a
long way to go until true parity is reached.
With these tips for our female counterparts, here’s to hoping for more female representation in the field of recruitment!
Folks at Recruit CRM wish a very Happy International Women’s Day to all the amazing women out there 🙂