Defining the Problem:
- – The absence of women in interview teams, and at the board and management, is deterring women from joining companies. Over one-third of women (35.5%) will reject a job opportunity when only interviewed by men. Add in an all-male board and management team, and it results in almost half of women (46%) declining a role.
- – A lack of cultural affinity and sense of belonging is contributing to 63% of women deciding not to enter into a recruitment process for a board director role.
- – The recruitment processes within companies are not sufficiently equitable and balanced. Over one-quarter of women view their company’s recruitment process as bias.
- – Companies are not aligning with women’s drivers for joining a company when trying to engage them. Many companies do not emphasise role and responsibilities (16.2%) or opportunities for promotion (0%), whereas women value these greatly (34% and 18% respectively).
- – Culture is something companies are promoting when hiring women, and while this is important to women, it is less so than many other factors.
Company hiring processes and systems are commonly inadequately designed to eliminate bias and promote equality based on merit. Many companies have attempted to tackle bias, at least unconscious bias, through training of their managers, something which has failed to redress the issue of bias. Companies must reduce or eradicate bias through the design of their processes. Furthermore, we know that women grow increasingly mistrusting of recruitment processes over time, having experienced inequitable outcomes on many occasions previously. This perceived unfairness, when coupled with a lack of cultural affinity and belonging, encourages women to disengage.
Liftstream Delivering a Solution:
We have placed greater emphasis on advising our clients about how to develop and write job descriptions which are balanced and written in gender neutral/balanced language. We apply the same principles in the development of our briefing documents to share with candidates. These documents are developed with input from all key stakeholders to ensure a consistent view of success. A matrix of competencies and assessment criteria are pre-agreed and adhered to closely throughout by all parties, ensuring consistent assessment and evaluation.
Our clients receive our advice on how to design and implement a recruitment process that will heighten the possibility of engaging women candidates through to the completed appointment.
Our preliminary pre-screen, and subsequent assessment and interview process is systematic and structured, guaranteeing a consistent and equitable evaluation of all candidates. We are utilising many of the best and emerging practices shown to reduce procedural bias.
We offer new approaches to delivering candidate insight to clients designed to fully inform, but not unduly influence by providing gender context that could encourage bias.
Liftstream Target: To reduce the drop-out rate of shortlisted board and C-level women candidates to less than 15% (1 in 7) by December 2020.