International Women's Day 2023: Practical ways to bring more women candidates to your pipeline.
Today is International Women's Day, a day naturally close to my heart. If you have been following my posts, you know that promoting women in tech is paramount to me. You should also know by now that I am a practical person, always looking to provide tangible value to my clients. That's why I want to share with you today some of the guidelines that I use to help companies attract more female candidates throughout the year.
Although some of these guidelines may seem obvious, unfortunately, only some follow them. Therefore, I urge you to review your company's practices and implement at least one policy that you find feasible in your following recruitment process. This time next year, you will be able to assess how this guideline has affected your new hires.
Here are some of my tried-and-tested guidelines:
1. You'd be surprised, but this is probably the most essential guideline (hence I put it first): Highlight your commitment to diversity and inclusion in your job ads. And make sure to emphasize your genuine desire for more women candidates. It goes a long way to make women feel welcome within your company.
2. This is particularly important in languages with grammatical genders, such as Hebrew. To be inclusive of all genders, it is recommended to use gender-neutral language. For instance, in English, instead of using "he" or "she," it is suggested to use "they." In Hebrew, it is recommended to avoid using gendered verbs. Instead, describe actions that are neutral.
3. Similarly, avoid using gendered job titles such as "salesman" or "foreman." Instead, use gender-neutral job titles, such as "sales representative" or "supervisor."
4. Avoid using gender stereotypes in your job ads, such as describing a role as "nurturing" or "assertive." These stereotypes can discourage women from applying for jobs they may be qualified for!
5. Pay attention to the visual aspect, too: simply stating that your company welcomes everyone is insufficient if the imagery used in your job ads contradicts it! For instance, a picture of your smiling R&D team, who are all men, may discourage women from applying, even if your company is committed to diversity and inclusion. So make sure you use inclusive imagery in your job ads.
6. Studies show that women prioritize work-life balance when considering job opportunities. Emphasize your company's flexible work arrangements, family-friendly policies, and other benefits that promote work-life balance. It helps women feel they will be able to work for your company while not neglecting other significant aspects of their lives. Some ideas to promote a better work-life balance include a hybrid working model, a 4-day working week, and extended and shared parental leave.
7. A practical way to implement the former guideline for advanced-level recruiters: consider including female employee quotes or testimonials in your job ads. This can demonstrate a positive work environment and provide a female perspective on working at your company, which can attract women applicants and show that your company values and supports its female employees.
8. Research indicates that women tend to only apply for a job if they meet all of the listed job requirements. So I encourage you to consider whether all the requirements listed in your job ad are essential to the role. Furthermore, I always include a statement at the end of the job ad that welcomes applicants who meet some, but not all, of the requirements.
By implementing these guidelines, you can help your company attract more qualified women candidates and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
Remember that there's always room for improvement and progress, and I am more than happy to share my expertise and assist your company in achieving its diversity goals. Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you would like to learn more.