According to McKinsey, companies across all sectors with the most women on their boards of directors significantly and consistently outperform those with no female representation – by 41% in terms of return on equity and by 56% in terms of operating results.
Therefore, it makes good business sense to attract more women into your organisation. You might already think you are fair and equal in your recruitment process, but it’s important to remember that one size does not fit all.
One of the fundamental rules of marketing is to tailor your messaging to your audience and your recruitment strategy is no different. Want to hire more women into your organisation? Talk to them directly. Whilst we appreciate it is hard to avoid generalisations, we have some suggestions on how you can attract and retain more female talent...
Speak the language
A study by Texico found that the average job post contains twice as many phrases that have a masculine tone than feminine, which consequently results in more men applying for specific roles. So, how can you make your pipeline of applicants more gender equal? Phrases such as “catalyst” or “transparent” are seen to have a more feminine tone, whereas “fearless” and “enforcement” are more masculine. Make sure you think carefully about the language you are using, it might be worthwhile having a few people read over your job description before you post it.
This is one of the most obvious ones but a lot of companies are still unintentionally excluding applicants in their definition of remote working. Looking to support working mothers mean so much more than some adjustments to the normal 9-5. Remote working is a huge selling point to mothers who need to optimise their time and remove the daily commute. With the average age of a first time mum in the UK being 27.9, you can exclude a huge sector of the population with a strict ‘no working from home’ policy.
What about after the recruitment?
Two thirds of women in the UK suffer from Imposter Syndrome at work. As a result, they are less likely to put themselves up for these promotions even when placed right in front of them. So, as an employer, how can you manage this?
Mentoring your employees at the start of their career to understand their own strengths will make them more self-aware and confident. Equally, ensure that your employees take responsibility for their own achievements. If you see your team trying to pass success off as good luck, timing or knowing the right people it can be a huge red flag that they are suffering from Imposter Syndrome. Another great way to inspire confidence in your employees is suggesting that they apply for a promotion internally and advising them why you think they would suit the role.
Providing opportunities for women to progress internally in your organisation is a fantastic way to keep your employees engaged, motivated and close your gender pay gap. Studies have shown that it’s not only women who benefit from a more gender balanced management team; a recent survey from CCL showed that out of all respondents, those who had female bosses felt more supported (especially female participants) and experienced less job-related burnout. The survey also showed that while having a female boss is unlikely to limit men’s career development, having a male boss might hinder women’s career development.
This isn’t a one size fits all approach, but providing equal management opportunities to men and women within the organisation won't only affect those individuals, but will ensure that all the members of your team feel more supported in the workplace.
If you’re feeling inspired and want to speak to our team about recruitment alternatives, let us know below.