3 Tips On Recruiting More Women Into Your Organization

Published: March 8, 2021

Diversity in the workplace is important to both employers and job seekers. For the employer, a diverse workforce leads to increased revenue, innovation, creative problem solving, and inclusivity within teams. When it comes to gender diversity, a McKinsey study showed that company profits can be almost 50 percent higher when women are represented in leadership roles.

While gender diversity is unquestionably beneficial for your business, over the past year it has seen a decline in upward progress. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many women have lost their jobs and those that are employed are struggling to balance work and home, as they work from home with less access to childcare.

In fact, one in four women are now considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce completely. This presents a new crisis for corporate America, as it risks losing years of progress fostering women in leadership roles and gender diversity efforts. However, businesses also have the opportunity to put renewed focus on their diversity hiring strategy to implement changes that would make their business more attractive to a diverse range of candidates.

Apply the following tips to your business and highlight them in your recruitment strategy to create a workplace where women can thrive.

Make work sustainable

While the nature of work has changed over the past year, workplaces haven’t considered how those changes should be reflected in work expectations. According to McKinsey, women are more likely than men to feel like they need to be “always on” and to worry that their performance is being negatively judged because increased childcare responsibilities during the pandemic. Factors like these are causing women to feel more burnt out and lead to them to make the decision to downshift their careers. If you make it clear to potential hires that your organization takes steps to address these concerns, you’ll be able to attract more female talent.

One way you can address these concerns is by creating new review systems and goals that are achievable, given the current circumstances, then clearly communicate them to employees and prospective employees. Less than one third of companies have adjusted performance reviews to account for pandemic changes. You can also create and communicate guidelines around work/life boundaries, such as a policy around no out of office hours emails. Finally, continue to offer flexible work options post-pandemic to allow for a balance of work and caregiving responsibilities.

If you create a more flexible and empathetic workplace it will both ease the crisis today and set women up for long term achievement. Emphasize any adjustments that have been made on your career pages and in job postings so job seekers know you’re invested in making work sustainable for them. In interviews with candidates, you can discuss how these policies better enable their long term success with your organization over another.

Create clear paths for women to progress

A recent Pew Research study found that 57% of US adults say we haven’t come far enough when it comes to giving women equal rights, and listed “not enough women in positions of power” among their top reasons for saying this. At the start of 2020, women held only 38% of manager level positions.

In order to attract female talent, you should clearly communicate how employees can progress to those management positions, as well as hiring diverse candidates directly into those positions. You not only need to document processes but demonstrate that those processes lead to an inclusive reality. A McKinsey survey from last June found that 39% of respondents turned down or didn’t pursue jobs because of a perceived lack of inclusion at an organization. Factors that respondents say contribute to a sense inclusion in an organization include having a diverse leadership team and demonstrated meritocracy and initiatives to increase fairness.

Build a diverse workplace that’s inclusive to all

Focusing on building a diverse workplace across the board will help you attract talent across demographics. Women are more likely to champion your diversity and inclusion programs as allies, and a commitment to such programs are something they’re looking for when considering taking a new role.

Working on your overall diversity recruitment strategy will help your organization reap the benefits that a diverse workforce brings and help you to continue to attract talent. Some resources you can use to get started include finding tools to source diverse talent, building relationships with local organizations , and working with specific diversity  organizations, such as the Center for Women Veterans.

Ultimately, committing to hiring a diverse workforce will help your entire organization to thrive. In order to attract women and other diverse talent, implement policies and procedures that foster success for a diverse range of people and make diversity and inclusion a priority across the business.

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