The UK population is split 50:50 into women and men, yet we still don’t see that same representation in organisations, and even less so at Board level.
Let’s be clear: there are no excuses for the lack of women on FTSE 350 boards, and it’s about time that we remove conscious and subconscious barriers for women in the workplace.
Bramwith Consulting is partnering with Business in the Community Community to promote inclusive recruitment. We’ve put together five top tips for optimising job adverts and specifications to support positive actions that get more women into work and into great roles.
Ben Riley, Global Director at Bramwith, said: “Re-tweaking a job advert or spec to make it more inclusive has incredible results. It can significantly increase the number of women in the candidate pool, which in turn allows the hiring manager to be even more selective in hiring the best possible candidate.”
1. Focus on the core competencies an applicant needs to have Skills can be trained but competencies are better indicators for future performance. Research shows that women are less likely to apply for a role if they don’t feel confident they have all required qualifications. Limit your advert and job spec to a handful of core competencies and remove ‘preferred skills’.
2. Use inclusive language Many job descriptions use words that are more commonly associated with men, like ambitious, decisive and driven. This often stops women from applying. Check your job advert with a gender decoder tool and use inclusive language.
3. Highlight women-friendly perks and benefits Choose the benefits you publicise through a gender lens and focus on perks that might attract more women to apply. Speak to women in your organisation to better understand what benefits they appreciate the most. Mention benefits such as emergency leave, training and development, shared parental leave, and wellbeing programmes.
4. Add a flexible-working statement Women are more likely than men to work part-time and therefore often look for flexible working in a new role. Challenge hiring managers to offer the role flexibly and make it explicit in your job description and adverts. Acknowledge that the role can be performed flexibly and that your organisation supports flexible working arrangements.
5. Ensure the contact person for the role is a woman Research has shown that the number of women applicants increases if the contact person has a female-sounding name due to affinity bias. Add a female contact (e.g. ‘Contact Tasha Nolan to find out more’) and showcase female role models on your corporate website.
What’s next? * For support to fill your next vacancy, please contact Ben Riley, Global Director at Bramwith Consulting, on firstname.lastname@example.org * To explore how you can promote gender equality in your organisation, please contact Johanna Westhauser, Diversity & Inclusion Adviser at Business in the Community, on email@example.com
Bramwith Consulting are proud partners of the Business in the Community Gender campaign. Business in the Community supports partners through expert advice, resources and networking. Click here to find out more.
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