- Diversity in the workplace varies greatly by geographical area
- Flexibility is the number one work requirement for many
- Most companies have some kind of CSR-based initiatives in place
- Internal promotion is helping get more women into senior positions
This quarter, the Customer Advisory Board (CAB) talked about diversity and inclusion – focusing not only on the problems our clients face and how they overcome them, but also on how a more diverse workplace could be created through an effective hiring process.
Here’s a quick rundown of what they covered:
Why is diversity important?
It’s absolutely vital to encourage diversity in every workplace.
Not only does it promote inclusion and boost your employer brand, diverse teams are also more innovative and creative. And, by supporting employee networks for certain demographic groups, you’ll be actively improving your ability to hire and retain talent.
In addition, having a diverse workforce will make it easier to understand and engage with your audience.
What are the challenges?
According to research carried out by reed.co.uk, there are a number of factors that make diversity and inclusion difficult to achieve in the workplace.
Generally, the biggest challenges women face in the tech industry are:
- Lack of female role models
- Male dominated environment
- Lack of flexible working options
What challenges do employers face?
When it comes to promoting workplace diversity, the companies we spoke to experience a range of problems.
Whilst some struggle to break the mould in male dominated industries (e.g. insurance broking), others express that a lack of targets around diversity at a senior level are amongst the biggest issues they face.
Other common problems include budgeting limitations that make investing in AI based tools (that ensure a diverse hiring system) difficult, a lack of age diversity when it comes to hiring and progressing older workers, and the demand for flexible working hours.
Geographical area also influences the level of diversity, with the availability of transport links playing a key part in how many candidates an organisation can attract.
How are they being addressed?
Employers have a variety of techniques and systems in place when it comes to ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace.
As a whole, the majority see CSR as a vital part of encouraging diversity – whether it’s through charity events, community meet ups to help hire in tech, or focus groups.
Other companies focus on making the initial shortlisting, interviewing, and hiring process as diverse as possible – focusing less on cultural fit and more on those who add culture to a business.
Similar examples include removing the conviction question from job applications and interviews, making sure an interview panel includes both men and women, and avoiding asking about gaps in a candidate’s CV. ATSs and job decoders are also used to ensure hiring is unbiased and language in job descriptions is neutral.
They also express the importance of encouraging career progression internally, focusing on giving women a way into senior positions.
How can job boards help?
According to the CAB, hiring processes greatly influence organisations’ ability to make their hiring as diverse as possible.
Here are a few ways job boards can help:
- Make diversity based stats and demographic data available to recruiters
- Introduce geographical talent mapping
- CV blinding tools (e.g. hiding names, universities, addresses)
- Ensure a wider selection of women in shortlists
What are reed.co.uk doing to improve diversity?
reed.co.uk are completely committed to improving diversity in the workplace. In fact, James Reed pledges to:
- Introduce talks, seminars, and webinars ran by successful women once a quarter
- Grow and sustain a female mentoring system to provide women at reed.co.uk with support
- Seek to have women make up 50% of its senior leadership team in the next 3-5 years
Tips on hiring a diverse workforce
- Avoid gender coded words (e.g. ‘Rockstar’, ‘Ninja’ or ‘dominate’)
- Limit job adverts to must-haves (men are likely to apply for jobs where they think they meet 60% of the requirements, whilst women will only apply if they feel they are 100% compatible)
- Avoid internal language and business jargon (this is often a barrier that keeps young talent from applying)
- Emphasise commitment and diversity in your job ad
How do you become part of the Customer Advisory Board?
Although spaces for meetings are limited, we’d love to hear from clients who think they could benefit from being part of CAB.
If you want to join the conversation, talk to your Account Manager and register your interest in taking part in the Customer Advisory Board today.