Improving Gender Diversity when Recruiting

This year, to support International Women’s Day we’re offering up some practical steps to help improve gender equality in your hiring process.

8 Mar 2023

In the lead up to International Women’s Day we did some research on the gender pay gap. You’ll be pleased to know that it’s been declining slowly over time. Over the last decade, it’s fallen by approximately a quarter. But, here’s what else we learned:

  • The gender pay gap in April 2022 was 8.3%. 
  • For full-time employees aged 40+ the gender pay gap is much higher than for employees aged below 40. 
  • The gender pay gap varies depending on your job. 
  • Looking at Marketing specifically (since that’s the industry we recruit for) the pay gap is 15.5% for Marketing and Advertising Directors. So that’s £33.96 per hour for women and £40.19 per hour for men. 

Gender pay gap in marketing

We got all our stats from the ONS if you’re interested in taking a look for yourself. 

So, with those statistics in mind, let’s jump straight into our guide to hiring for gender diversity in the workplace. 

Encourage anonymous applications

Anonymous applications don’t include any personal identifiers like name, gender or age so they ensure that applicants are evaluated solely on their qualifications and experience. This is a great way to remove unconscious bias during initial screening.

Be flexible and open minded 

It’s easy to discount an applicant with gaps in their CV. But being open minded will unlock access to talented individuals you might have previously overlooked. You need to understand the reasons behind the gappy CV – as not all gaps are red flags. Lots of women have taken time out (or taken a step back) to look after their children, so their CV might not show continuous progression. When it comes to hiring, you need to look beyond a CV to really understand the skills and experience that someone can bring to the table. 

Expand your talent pool

Do you always turn to the same place to find talent? If so, it’s likely that your talent pool won’t be diverse enough. You can diversify your talent pool by:

  • Partnering with different networks to expand the reach of your job opening. This can include professional organisations, social media groups, or alumni networks. 
  • Leveraging social media. Consider using hashtags that are gender-inclusive and appeal to a diverse pool of candidates. Also consider using paid social advertising to expand reach. 
  • Considering employee referrals. If you encourage employees to refer candidates you can increase the diversity of your talent pool and also help to retain your current employees so it’s a win-win. 

Review your job ads

Did you know that women are less likely to apply for a job when wording that’s associated with male stereotypes has been used? For example, words like ‘dominant’ or ‘competitive’. But interestingly, words that are stereotypically associated with females like ‘care’ or ‘support’ aren’t as off-putting to men when it comes to applying for jobs. So that’s something to keep in mind when you’re crafting the wording for your next job ad. 

Diversify your  interview panel

Make sure your interview panel is diverse and includes a range of perspectives. This helps to reduce the potential for unconscious bias during the interview process.

Choose your recruitment partner wisely 

If you’re working with a recruitment partner, ask yourself whether their approach and methods properly reflect your inclusive culture. They should be as committed to gender parity in the workplace as you are. 

Get some training

Equip yourself and your hiring managers with the knowledge and skills needed to attract and retain diverse talent. Unconscious bias training is important and you can also find training on gender-inclusive hiring practices. 

Our verdict

Recruitment processes play a vital role in improving gender equality, but recruitment is really just the first step in what should be a long-term commitment. Hopefully our practical steps will help you to create a more inclusive and diverse business. If you’ve got any questions, you know where to find us. 

Talk to us

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