With celebrations of International Womens Day taking place all around us and the mandatory gender pay gap reporting deadline fast approaching we feel that the topic of encouraging female talent in the workplace is more important than ever.
Having teams that include women are actually proven to be better for business; in fact the Peterson Institute found that 30% female representation on boards could add six percentage points to a company’s margin due to the skills of logical analysis, coordination, planning and problem-solving that women bring to the table.
So how can companies encourage the attraction and retention of female staff in its own workforce?
Benefit Packages Revision
The current market is still very benefits-driven and by building an attractive benefits package that is specifically designed to attract women could really help your business. For example, why not look at things like childcare subsidies, extended maternity or paternity packages or even flexible working options to fit round school drop-offs and picks ups?
You could allow paid time off for medical procedures such as smear tests and mammograms to show you care about the women in your workforce and their health. You’ll also find that introducing things like loans for weddings or children could go a long way in attracting the right candidates too.
Make Progression Paths Clear
A survey completed by PwC in 2017 found that female millenials and generation Zs stated that opportunities for career progression were the most attractive employer trait when looking for a job. If someone is looking to dominate the workforce then it is important that a clear structure is laid out so the candidate and employee can see what career progression is available to them and what skills they need to get to the next level.
It is then essential that as opportunities do arise every eligible member of staff is considered equally; there is no point stating that progression is possible if it is not possible for all eligible candidates and employees.
Create Leaders, Mentors and Sponsors
According to research completed by EY, they found that just 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs and just 0.3% of FTSE 250 CEOs are female; role models in leadership are few and far between so you need to create this inspirational mindset in your own workplace for those within your business and for other females too.
Ensure you have visible female leaders and mentors within your workforce that others aspire to be like. You may choose to introduce a structured mentorship or sponsorship program within your business where those females that are in leadership positions can offer advice and guidance but also be an advocate for assisting emerging talent.
Be Seen By the Right People
In earlier years jobs were harder to come be, but in 2018 we are seeing that candidates can be much pickier about the jobs they apply for in this very candidate-led market. Potential candidates are taking the time to look into each company and finding factors that may give one role and company an edge over another.
Find ways to rank on industry lists such as The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies or Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Women to ensure that you are at the top of your dream candidates lists when they are looking for their next job. Look at the places you are advertising roles too, and ensure you are getting your job vacancies in front of the right people.
The Law of Attraction
Like attracts like, so by diversifying your hiring panel to include the sort of people you want to employ, you will find these people will be employed. Hiring managers will hire people like themselves so consider who your hiring managers are and who may need to be added to your hiring panel; an inspirational woman could be the hook for the female talent you are interviewing to want to work with your company.
Don’t fall into the trap of asking different interview questions to males and females; follow the same interview structure and ask the same questions to both sexes so you can easily compare and judge the candidates against each other. The general rule of thumb in interviewing different genders is to not ask a woman something that you wouldn’t ask a man.