We are getting requests from quite a few companies who are keen to do something about the gender balance within their organisation. Companies coming from traditional male dominated areas such as STEM ( Science, Engineering, Technology or Maths ) and Construction for example, are realising that their gender diversity stats are dismal. Most companies are keen to improve their gender diversity or at least keen to appear as if they are doing something about it.
Here are our top 10 tips that can help you attract women to your workplace:
1) Offer Returnships – Returnships are like internships but for people who have stepped away from their career for a number of years – they are very appealing to women who might have taken a career break to look after the kids and now want to re-enter the workplace but are getting the door slammed in their faces due to the ‘gap’ in their CV.
A returnship can genuinely open the door to this candidate and via coaching, training and mentoring, can elevate them back to the level they were at before they took time out.
2) Offer flexible work and remote work where possible and start working towards a flexible work policy, if you do not already have one. Think like a woman or a Mom – if she is flicking through potential companies she wants to work with, does yours come across as female/family friendly? Ask yourself how you can improve your messaging on your website and social media.
3) Get the Flexible Friendly accreditation with Employflex which you can display on social media/email signature/website, to let prospective candidates see that you are flexible and are open and welcome to applications from women and parents.
4) Work on job specs if necessary, to make more attractive to females- we can help here our job description workshop. Sometimes, people are so engrossed in their work bubble that they fail to see that the jargon and terminology of their own job descriptions can be very intimidating. Remember, a woman will generally not apply for a job unless she can tick everything on the job spec.
So, if your job spec is 3 pages long, chances are you won’t have many female applicants.
We see this every day here at Employmum/ Employflex with women positively talking themselves out of roles that they are absolutely 100% capable of doing while their less competent male compatriot struts off to claim the position. It’s a thing. It’s called the confidence gap.
Textio Hire is an app that you can use to eliminate or reduce words that alienate women from applying.
5) Be vigilant about existing unconscious bias within the company – maybe engage in some unconscious bias training? Employflex can help here with our collaborative partners in training.
6) Partner with Employmum/Employflex for recruitment needs – we are a multi award winning recruitment service known for our area of expertise which is flexibility in the workplace.
The fact that you are partnered with us, an accredited family friendly company, will also send out that message to females that you are flexible and family friendly.
7) Have a look at your website and your messaging? Does it talk about females and champion them?
Include a blog on your website where you can feature women in the organisation that are role models and where you are going that extra mile to support them.
Consider hiring a good PR company that will develop a good strategy for positive messaging from you.
8) Apply for the Family Friendly Awards ( Nov 2020) – you can self nominate. Employflex won the Best Business category last year and it offered great credibility to what we do.
Join the 30% Club
Get involved with the Better Balance for Business initiative and other gender diverse groups in your area
9) Investigate your pipeline of females for your positions – is there anything you can do at grassroots level that could increase the participation of females – e.g. going out to colleges and speaking about the advantages and benefits of joining your company.
10) Ensure that you have a robust maternity charter, that you nurture the psychological contract a woman has with her role, that you encourage career progression for everyone, even those who have opted for a more flexible work plan and that you treat everyone the same.
Remember that ‘Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance’
Retaining women is another subject that we will address in a future blog post.