The history of the world is tainted with gender inequality incidents where masculine behaviors like arrogance, certainty, and one-upmanship were mistaken for confidence. Women have fought hard to find their voice and be heard in the male-dominant world. Fortunately, the decades of activism and the rising acknowledgment for Diversity, Equality, and Inclusive (DE&I) have changed things for the better in modern times. But there is a long road ahead as women equality (still) persists as an unfinished business in many parts of the world.
Society has made undeniable progress to accredit women at the forefront of unfolding discussions. However, the progress on women’s participation in decision-making is slow and far from convincing. For instance, the United Nations asserts that at the current progress rate, it will take 130 years to reach gender equality in the highest positions of power. The World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report further reveals that progress toward closing the gender gap has stalled in most countries and there is still a lot to be done for including women in more decision-making roles.
Thus, we need to turn around things and improve the participation of women in society. We need to advocate for equal sharing of power, accountability, and opportunities for women, and there is no place like our workplaces to initiate a change.
This International Women’s Day let us explore the opportunities to bridge the gender gap at workplaces and hire more women candidates. But first, let us discuss the advantages of hiring and retaining women employees.
Why hire and retain women employees?
According to a study by International Finance Corporation, incorporating more women at workplaces helps protect their rights and proves highly beneficial for the organization. For instance, women lead men over skills like empathy, intuition, and optimism and play a significant role in increasing workplace productivity, enhancing collaboration among teams, inspiring organizational dedication, and minimizing employee burnout.
Some other key benefits of hiring and retaining women include:
- Women are great leaders
Women make great leaders. They have distinct skill sets and exercise imaginative perspectives to drive growth. They bring structural and cultural differences to the table and deliver highly effective solutions to overcome challenges. A research by McKinsey suggests that organizations in the top quartile for gender diversity are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability.
- Women increase productivity
Diversity is the future of workplaces, and having men and women in the same environment accounts for more creative teams. Women have a special sense of awareness and a knack for solving problems. They can analyze problems more closely and find the most effective and efficient solutions. Moreover, the majority of the women are multitaskers and blessed with great management skills.
- Women promote positive changes
Women bring positive change to an environment. They strengthen team dynamics by uniting people and drawing together opinions and proposals. They also help their co-workers address unique issues like maintaining work-life balance while positively influencing their attitudes and mindsets. Moreover, women foster a culture of empathy and appreciation which plays a significant role in improving the overall work environment.
- Women are better communicators
While many (men) would agree to disagree on the stance, women are steps ahead of men on fronts like communication. Women respond more effectively to visual, verbal, and emotional factors to drive a conversation. They have strong communication and networking skills which can encourage collaboration and enhance teamwork or group efforts.
- Brand Building
Lastly, having more women employees in your organization benefits your brand image and reputation in the market. It helps you get recognized as a diverse organization that values gender equality and inclusion. With the world becoming increasingly driven towards DE&I, having more women employees definitely makes your list of positives even more impressive.
The advantages of having women employees at workplace are well documented in the books of the business world. Thus, it is important for organizations to have a well-thought and women-focused hiring strategy in place when they search for female talent in the tight job market.
How to attract female talent?
In order to attract more women talent, organizations need to implement cultural changes and optimize their recruitment strategy. For instance, various studies assert that millennials and Generation Z are more likely to join your organization if it is gender-neutral and follows best practices for diversity hiring.
Here are some of the best ways to attract female talent:
- Promote women to leadership roles in your organizations
Women have worked through their ranks and now make up more than half of the workforce in the US. However, despite proving to be great leaders, they occupy a comparatively smaller number of leadership roles in various business sectors. For instance, women hold about 35% of senior leadership positions. Organizations need to promote more women in leadership roles to bridge the gender gap and inspire other women to join them.
- Make the job ads more inclusive
A job advertisement serves as the first communication with a candidate. Thus, make sure the ads are gender-neutral and inclusive. One must avoid using pronouns like “he or she” and other ambiguous words like rockstar, player, and so on. The job ad must include terms like flexibility, progressive culture, work-life balance, benefits for women, etc. to attract female candidates.
- Ensure an unbiased interview process
Decide on a structured and unbiased interview process. Bringing structure and compliance in the interview process helps in ensuring equal experience for all the candidates. Your hiring process should follow the same assessment metrics and comprehensive rubrics to assess candidate competencies.
- Offer competitive and fair salary
Salary is one of the biggest factors that one considers while applying for a job. However, gender-pay disparity of any sort is a real turn-off for all women candidates. Thus, make sure you offer women candidates a competitive and fair salary. What is better is to provide salary information in the job postings. It brings transparency and integrity to the recruitment process.
- Provide great workplace benefits for women
A working woman’s life is laden with responsibilities. Thus, they are more inclined towards joining organizations that offer flexibility in working and the freedom to schedule their personal and family-related priorities. Moreover, organizations should prioritize and implement women-centric policies regarding generous paternity leaves, safety, and leadership development opportunities.
- Highlight women working at your organization
The right hires always conduct thorough research before joining an organization. For instance, there is a high chance that candidates explore your organization’s LinkedIn page and website before applying for a job. Thus, consider making use of this opportunity and highlight the success stories of your existing women employees. Seeing the stories of women climbing the ladder of success at your organization can be a profound influence on female candidates.
- Establish and promote an inclusive employer brand
An organization’s brand value plays a key role in attracting candidates. Interestingly, women are more likely to apply for a job if the organization shares the reputation of an inclusive-employer brand. The absence of gender bias and a gender-neutral culture is a great motivation for women candidates. Thus, focus on establishing an inclusive culture and go the extra mile to promote it in the job market.
How can Pyramid Consulting help?
Pyramid Consulting is an Intentionally Inclusive organization that can help you build a workplace that favors diversity in thoughts, experiences, and representation. We believe in fostering equal and fair opportunities for all and provide diverse staffing solutions to help our customers meet their diverse talent needs. We can assist you to create a diverse pipeline for women candidates and help improve the representation of women in your organization.
We have pioneered the staffing industry’s first ERG (Employee Resource Group) program that encourages a sense of belonging among our consultants and employees. Women of Pyramid Consulting is one such ERG program that focuses on cultivating an inclusive environment to support and encourage female employees and consultants to advance their skills and leadership potential through connection, mentorship, collaboration, and discussion. It serves as a forum for our women employees to find their voice and be heard within the Pyramid community.