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4 Tips to Ensure Gender Parity

4 Tips to Ensure Gender Parity

Date: 17/07/2019 | Posted by: MeritTrac | Category: General


4 Tips to Ensure Gender Parity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Industry 4.0 is bringing unprecedented opportunities as well as new challenges, and organisations will need to drive significant transformation (across functions) in order to be ready for these opportunities and challenges. Increasing automation is changing the nature of jobs, calling for different traits and skills in the workforce than those that are prevalent today. Traits such as curiosity, empathy, and soft skills such as communication, cognitive and problem-solving abilities are increasingly taking the centre stage. As automation disrupts the employment landscape, it’s likely to impact 48% of women and 52% of men. But since women make up a smaller proportion of the workforce to begin with, it is likely to disproportionately impact women - further widening the gender gap and leading to greater inequality.

How can businesses proactively ensure women are provided adequate opportunities in their job roles to address the issue? Following these four tips during candidate sourcing is a good place to start.

Keep job postings gender neutral

The process of ensuring gender equality must start early in the employee lifecycle. Job postings are one of the very first things that potential employees see, making it essential to keep them neutral in order to minimize gender bias.  Avoid using words that are considered masculine such as ambitious, challenging, dominate and so on. Doing so can subtly reflect your company’s inclusive culture as well to attract more women applicants, increasing the size of the female applicant pool. Studies show that when there are at least two female candidates in the final candidate pool, the odds of hiring a female candidate is 79X greater. It is also ideal to separate ‘must-have skills’ from ‘good-to-have’ skills so employees can also see through the job roles more clearly.

Use scientific assessments for unbiased hiring 

According to a PWC report, women are under-represented at every level of the corporate pipeline. One way to change this dismal fact is to reimagine the recruitment process.  This requires intense focus on the process of shortlisting and selecting candidates using scientifically designed assessments aimed at de-biasing the hiring process. Companies seriously committed to maintaining gender equality are partnering with leading online assessment firms to scientifically design pre-hire assessments such as personality and domain assessments to eliminate bias during hiring and promote diversity. Bengaluru-based IT firm Mindtree, has been using AI applications extensively for identifying not only right-fit resumes and eliminating bias but also discovering fraudulent resumes.

Highlight the role of your existing female employees

Hiring deserving women in leadership roles or offering a clear career development plan for women speaks volumes about the emphasis given to gender equality in your organization.  Showcasing the accomplishments of women employees who can be role models for potential and existing employees can also be a great strategy to attract highly qualified female employees. Fortune 500 companies with at least three female directors have had their return on invested capital increase by at least 66% and return on sales increase by 42%. Information about the role that female employees play in your organization can be posted as interesting videos, blogs and infographics on your careers page or job posting sites to attract top female talent.

Offer true workplace flexibility

Offering different work shifts is not enough. True flexibility includes flexible work schedules, work-from-home options without penalty, and dedicated safety measures in case of odd work hours. A workplace that focuses more on performance rather than hours spent at the desk is more likely to attract employees and increase their engagement. Avon is a leading example in offering flex work timings and other women-friendly policies, and its efforts towards gender equality have been recognized by Bloomberg’s Gender Equality Index 2019.

It’s clear that companies will have to make gender equality and diversity a priority in order to achieve their business goals and thrive in the industry 4.0 era. The good news is organizations are beginning to understand this - 87% of CEOs were focused on talent diversity and inclusiveness in 2017 as opposed to only 64% in 2015. Those organizations that take predictive and proactive measures to hiring and develop more diverse workforce are more likely to create a competitive advantage as a wider, yet specific set of skills sets become a pre-requisite for success.

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