Have you wondered if it’s worth investing time in developing workplace diversity? If you have, then you are on the right path. Different perspectives and backgrounds in a team will only contribute towards diverse ideas and well-rounded results. This, in turn, helps companies be more creative, innovative and achieve better results in general.
Experience comes in all shapes and forms, and gender diversity in recruitment is a good way to bring it in. Before we can bring people into our workforce, we need to analyze whether we have an inclusive workplace for anyone who joins in.
Are You Inclusive Enough?
Is your organization inclusive of women, transgender, or nonbinary individuals, or are there unconscious biases in place? Does your organization have strong anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies? Is gender diversity a prominent aspect across all hierarchies of the company? If any of these do not exist, what is being done to accommodate and equalize a balance of power?
In order to reap the many benefits of hiring people of all genders, employee empowerment needs to meet its full potential. There are three simple ways to be more inclusive:
1. Challenge Gender Stereotypes
Behavioral stereotypes exist regarding genders to this day, and while they are demeaning to women, transgender people, and non-binary people, it is also toxic for me. To be an inclusive organization, gender stereotyping needs to stop. It is the 21st century, after all!
2. Look to Amplify All Voices
Does communication among people flow easily, or are there biases that outright dismiss certain voices? Unless opinions and ideas are heard without a deliberate bias, the company cannot move towards an inclusive environment.
3. Fair Promotions
Do employees have diverse mentors to look up to? If not, it’s time for fair promotions. Now, we’re obviously not recommending promotions based on gender, and merit is absolutely significant. But it is no secret that in workplaces, women have had to work harder than men to be considered on par but are constantly overlooked for promotions. Help women break that glass ceiling.
Strategies to Consider for Diverse Recruiting
Diversity on the Interview Panel
A heterogeneous panel of interviewers helps nip bias right in the bud. If external recruiting companies are involved, vet their diverse hiring stance in advance. The company could form a regulation to have at least two hirers at every interview, at the hiring manager or talent acquisition manager level to ensure there are different views and perspectives. Having a gender-diverse panel will foster a gender-inclusive workplace. Not only that, but it will also give the candidates a diversity-positive outlook on the company.
Train Hiring Managers on Inclusive Recruitment
Despite how far women, transgender people, and non-binary individuals have come in the corporate world, the impact of past and existing stereotypes remains. Such stereotypes also bring in unconscious biases from all genders. This is why it is crucial to train hiring managers, recruiters, and even stakeholders participating in the hiring process.
It would be even better if the training went as far as the people writing the job descriptions. This would help the companies define a job criteria checklist that is not gender-specific.
Make Job Descriptions More Inclusive
According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Danielle Gaucher, Justin Friesen, and Aaron C. Kay, there are certain words that are perceived as more masculine. While most job descriptions are usually inclusive, certain keywords used in the job descriptions can either attract diverse talent or have individuals walk away without even applying.
Words like "dominant," "self-reliant," and "analyze" are perceived as more masculine, while words like "serves," "dependable," "collaborate," and "consider" are female trait words.
Apart from using universally inclusive language, recruiters can also consider excluding non-essential criteria and avoiding jargon entirely. Another tip for job description writers is to include a sentence about being an equal opportunity employer.
Remove Gender-Related Questions From the Applications
This is an easy way to evaluate candidates solely based on their experience and qualifications. It also ensures that gender biases do not impact hiring decisions, creating equal opportunity for all genders. Take it a step ahead and have the candidates take a personality assessment test, along with other skill-based tests, that help uncover interesting behavioral patterns that can predict their workspace conduct.
Work on the Company's Brand
Candidates will always do their due diligence before applying to companies. It is important that the right image of the company is out there to see. Candidates will gravitate towards your social media team that is usually responsible for introducing the company members to the outside world. Is there a balance between genders in your online presence? Are there female senior staff members featured on a regular basis? All of this will say a lot about your brand and what the company stands for.
While working on all of this, you could also analyze your company's gender split in every department and level of hierarchy. It might push you to give out a job description that specifically attracts the minority gender.
Include Transparency of Perks
The gender pay gap exists to this day in some industries. Adding the salary range and other perks, including maternity leave, will attract a wider candidate range. This level of transparency on your end will only build trust between you and the candidates.
Gender equality begins with the recruiting process. Avoid making the first round of selection based on gender. Merit plays the primary role in choosing candidates. The second round of narrowing down can be more gender-balanced. The road map to gender diversity will constantly be reassessed to give the best results. This is the only way to diversify the workplace and make it a platform that provides equal opportunities regardless of gender. One small step towards gender diversity is a giant leap for the future of workplace inclusivity.
About the Author: Marques is a contributing writer at https://taimi.com/ - the world's largest LGBTQ+ platform. He is a proud LGBTQ+ activist, as well as a researcher on human rights violations. Marques has a passion for writing about relationships and queer issues.