3 Things Top Companies Can Do To Hire More Women in 2020
“Women overtake men as a majority of the US workforce,” announced a headline in The Wall Street Journal recently. Workplace demographics are shifting rapidly. While this may be true, many of the processes that we follow in the workplace are still not adapted to suit the needs and behavior of women.
Daisy Auger-Dominguez, the Founder and CEO of Auger-Dominguez Ventures, said it best at Galvanize 2019, a two-day annual gender diversity summit, hosted by Fairygodboss. “We have employees who are walking into organizations that weren’t created with them in mind. We need to ask whose voices are missing and redefine what diversity and inclusion mean today.”
Further, study after study shows that greater gender diversity drives better business results. Gender diversity drives better decision-making, more innovation, and, most importantly, increased shareholder value. A recent report from Morgan Stanley demonstrated this data.
More than ever, companies realize that they must implement focused gender diversity strategies so that they can win in this changing landscape, and create a workforce in which diversity is a part of the competitive landscape.
Here are three critical things companies should be doing to hire more women in 2020:
1. Get the story straight
According to data from PwC, women approach the job search process differently from men. When evaluating potential opportunities, men mainly research data about expected compensation. Meanwhile, women search for answers to their questions. For example, “What kind of experiences do female employees have here?” They also search, “What kind of programs or resources are in place to support women at this company?”
Top companies for women anticipate these questions and dedicate extensive real estate on their careers website to gender diversity & inclusion initiatives.
Johnson & Johnson, for example, has an entire hub dedicated to Women in STEM. The site goes beyond a simple career page and instead features how they are working to support female youth, scholars, and professionals across these fields. They also feature stories and industry trends, highlighting how women in STEM are advancing. Plus, a robust career center for those interested in joining their team.
Salesforce is another excellent example of a company showcasing its commitment to gender diversity. They use their blog to share engaging stories. Including how returning-to-work mothers can find success in their careers, plus how women can benefit from the company’s gender equality programs and inclusive benefits.
2. Showcase female role models
While most companies state a commitment to diversity, the ultimate litmus test for many female job seekers is if they can genuinely envision herself working there. Meaning that your female leaders across all levels and departments need to be front and center.
American Century Investments, an investment management firm, does a great job of showcasing female role models through content marketing and storytelling. One article, for example, Career Inspiration from Six Women at American Century, features advice from their Director of Product Management, VP of Client Marketing, and more. By sharing the names, titles, and faces of female employees, they are helping candidates picture what it’s like to work there and be part of the team.
The more you can share stories about different kinds of women at your company, the better you will communicate a sense of support and inclusivity.
3. Repair the broken rung
At the heart of gender diversity in the workplace is your company’s ability to hire and promote great female talent. This includes women of all backgrounds, religions, ages, sexual orientations, and identities.
McKinsey’s report summarized one of their most substantial findings. A broken rung at the beginning of a career journey prevents women from reaching the C-suite. Although men and women enter the corporate pipeline at similar rates, they advance at drastically different paces. Women of color, in particular, face the steepest drop off from the corporate ladder.
To clarify, this broken rung is where companies must focus their attention. It’s a central obstacle that prevents women from moving forward at work. The fastest way to address this deficit is to focus on hiring more women into mid- and senior-level corporate roles where the imbalance is most pronounced. Only with deliberate pipeline development can we help shore up the leaks that cause such inequity in the organizational hierarchy.
If gender diversity is not a priority for your leadership team, ask these questions. Is profitability a priority? Is your stock performance a priority?
The obvious answers to these questions link directly to the diversity present at your company.
The bottom line is this. If your company is not focused on gender diversity and making a real effort to attract female talent, you will lose out. Especially when it comes to growth, innovation, and performance.
To increase gender diversity in your workplace, check out the latest report from Fairygodboss. How to Attract Qualified Female Candidates Through Your Employer Brand, for tips to build an employer brand that attracts experienced and diverse female job seekers.
Romy Newman is Co-founder and President of Fairygodboss, a business with the mission is to improve the workplace for women everywhere. Before venturing into the crazy world of entrepreneurship, Romy ran digital advertising sales and operations at The Wall Street Journal, and also worked in marketing at Google and Estee Lauder. Romy studied american studies, literature and art at Yale and many more practical things at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. Romy is a frequent speaker and contributor to Fortune, Huffington Post, and Inc. She is a proud mother of two, wife to a very supportive husband, devoted yogi and crossword puzzle lover. Romy is highly motivated to bring better performance and productivity to our companies and our country by making the workplace work better for women.
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