Creating a gender-inclusive workplace is not merely a positive organisational trend. Rather, it is the need of the hour. Employers, who see this need, want to hire more women, but do not change their recruiting strategies to reflect their motivation.
Hiring women employees is quite different from hiring men. This is because women approach the hiring process much differently than men. Most women seek much more than just monetary compensation and perks to get attracted to a company. They need to know that the organisation is truly a safe, gender-inclusive space. They want answers to their set of questions before associating themselves with a company for employment.
In simple terms, to hire more women, companies should build and project a women-friendly workforce. So, let us check out the five ways in which a company can successfully hire more women employees.
1. Anticipate their concerns
Research suggests that women do not approach the process of job hunting the same way as men. Salary compensation, perks and benefits are some of the primary things that men focus on during their job search. Whereas, women seek answers to the questions that arise in their mind. For instance, what has been the experience of other female employees in the company? What are the types of resources or programs initiated by the company to support their women employees? A top employer will be the one who can provide the answers to the questions that run on a woman candidate’s mind.
By providing them with the much-needed answers, you open the doors to creating a more gender-inclusive workplace. Many top corporations for women proactively anticipate these concerns and commit extensive resources to attract women candidates to boost gender diversity and inclusiveness at the workplace.
Major companies, like Johnson & Johnson, have created a career hub for women in the fields of STEM. Over and above the career opportunities, they also support their youth women workforce with opportunities to learn and develop their skills to become professionals and scholars in their respective fields.
2. Offer paid family leaves
In our society, women are often thrust with the responsibility to look after and take more care of the family than men. Juggling such responsibilities with work can become extensively tiresome and difficult for women. So, the employer should consider offering paid family leaves for women employees. This aspect can help you hire more women and boost your gender diversity at work.
As per the latest research, over 60% of working women say that they don’t want to work for an organisation that doesn’t provide paid family leaves. Despite this, many start-ups don’t even offer any maternity benefits, which is the basic right and necessity of every woman. These leave benefits are integral to the hiring strategy in bringing more women on board. Such options play a key role in attracting top women talent to your organisation.
Start by providing paid leave benefits to first-time parents to avoid any attrition due to pregnancy and childbirth. Some small entities may not be able to afford such benefits; however, you can start the process by initiating small annual changes in the leave policy.
3. Showcase women role models
Role models are necessary to inspire confidence and encourage people to do great work. For men, role models are easy to find. But women role models rarely get the same kind of attention. Plus, many successful women prefer to keep a low profile, further widening the dearth.
When women try to envision themselves working for a company, they need to know that there is room for their personal and professional growth. And to envision a better future, they need role models who have already walked the path and gained considerable success in their endeavours. Women leaders across all departments at all levels should be highlighted to the job seekers. Star women performers, in particular, should be an integral part of any recruitment or awareness campaigns.
The best way to showcase your women role models is by creating an innovative content marketing campaign with the help of a compelling narrative to engage your prospective candidates and other women employees within the company.
4. Create support groups
Many companies openly state their commitment to gender diversity, but they fail to take any concrete steps in that direction. It is crucial that you take definitive steps to put your words into action. And you can start by encouraging your current women workforce. You can create support groups to mentor and help women employees discover their true potential and succeed.
You can widen the scope of these support groups by asking them to offer assistance with interviewing and networking. This can help you attract more women candidates into your company. These support groups can also help generate awareness about gender diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Plus, you can also advertise your women-centric approach on various job boards and online social media to create a positive brand image which helps to attract more women candidates to your company.
5. Help break the glass ceiling
Gender diversity will hold substance only if it reflects in your processes and policies. This begins with hiring women from across all backgrounds, identities, age, religion and sexual orientation. But the organisation also needs to consider if women of talent are being promoted at the right time.
According to the latest research, career advancement opportunities for women are still stagnant. Coupled with the fact that most women take a break in their career to raise their children, only makes matters worse for women, closing all possible doors of advancements and professional prosperity.
The research also summarised that a career break in the initial stages of their professional career is the main reason that restricts women from achieving the topmost position. Women and men start the corporate race at the same time, but there is a drastic difference in the pace of their career advancement. Plus, most of the time, women have to face the most abrupt drop in the organisational hierarchy due to a career break.
Employers should focus on this career break to influence more women to join their ranks. Because this is the most difficult obstacle that restricts many talented women professionals from marching forward in their professional careers. The best way to solve this issue is by providing more learning and development opportunities to talented women to catch up with the track. The initial cost of training and development can be higher, but if you invest in the right candidates, you will reap rich dividends in the long term.
Another way is to hire more women in mid and senior-level roles to inspire more women to join the workforce. After all, the mid and senior-level positions are where gender inequality is most profound.
These five tips will certainly help you boost inclusiveness and gender diversity at the workplace. Equal gender representation is the key to a healthy and cohesive work environment. So, make sure that you hire more women employees and create the right future for your organisation.