The theme for International Women’s Day this year is embrace equity, with the campaign encouraging individuals to focus on gender equity and get the world talking about why equal opportunities are no longer enough.
Kerrie Richards, director at Glen Callum Associates, said: “International Women’s Day provides an ideal opportunity for companies to continue to move forward with equality and inclusion and encourage the changes needed to embrace the positive value of gender diversity within a workforce.”
With 50 percent of the GCA team being made up of women, the aftermarket recruitment specialist is sharing how it believes companies can benefit from an equal gender mix, alongside some advice on how to encourage women into a business.
Richards says that by failing to embrace a balanced workforce, companies are missing out on various attributes that a diverse team can bring: “A dynamic and innovative business is usually evolved from a dynamic and innovative workforce. Broadly speaking, men and women are shaped by different life experiences. In turn these different experiences give them different perspectives, which furthermore encourages different ideas.”
Various studies, and a survey by Indeed in particular, have shown that greater collaboration and an inclusive culture boosts morale, leading to more innovation and lower rates of staff turnover.
What’s more, according to statistics compiled by the 30% club, a company that has women on their board is more profitable than a company with only men on the board.
Richards continues: “The stats don’t lie; if businesses don’t embrace the benefits of a gender balanced workforce, they are missing out on innovative ideas, lower staff turnover and profitability.”
Kayleigh Bradley, senior recruitment consultant, has been with GCA for more than 12 years, and as a valued member of the team, has seen aftermarket companies, both domestically and internationally, increasingly looking to embrace the benefits brought about by a diverse workforce.
And Bradley is sharing insight on how businesses can encourage women to apply for jobs within the industry: “Women are more likely to apply for roles if they see themselves represented. As potential employees are increasingly checking out social channels and website pages before applying for a job, companies need to ensure these channels promote diversity and show the achievements of all genders within the business.”
As part of this advice, GCA is encouraging companies to be transparent with a role’s salary. To support this, a study by Linkedin revealed that women are more likely to submit a job application if the salary is advertised, as the transparency suggests the company is committed to paying employees equally and fairly, regardless of gender.
Another interesting study published in the Harvard Business Review highlights how keeping job adverts concise and only including the ‘must haves’ while marketing a role could also encourage more applicants.
Interestingly ‘78 percent of women’s reasons for not applying have to do with believing that the job qualifications are real requirements, and seeing the hiring process as more by-the-book and true to the on-paper guidelines than it really is.’
Bradley goes on to advise: “If a company’s structure allows, and if employees are delivering results, then why not introduce a performance-based and flexible culture instead of a strict office based 9-5, and ensure your adverts promote this?”
GCA is highlighting that an interview situation that encourages examples, and proof of skills and attributes, should help to break down any interview barriers, as studies have proven that women are less likely to promote their abilities during an interview than men.
The specialist is also advising companies to put together a diverse interview panel to help alleviate unconscious bias, with research showing that working from a standardised interview structure with predefined questions can also be useful in ensuring interviews are fair.
Richards concludes: “Diversity, equality and inclusion is a constant and evolving process, and this is why celebrating and encouraging a workforce to embrace differences and to see the positives of gender balance is very important in any business.
“So yes, let’s celebrate International Women’s Day and use the opportunity to promote ongoing diversity within a business.”