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2018: The Year We Shatter The Glass

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by Startacus Admin

gender diversity in the workplace
Nina Ricafort
 is the Growth Marketing Manager at careers marketplace Jobbio. Here Nina shares three key ways to hire for gender diversity, reduce gender bias in your recruitment process and help make 2018 the year that we Shatter The Glass.

"2017 was a milestone year for shedding light upon the challenges and injustices that women still face in the workplace, across all industries. Nina Ricafort Jobbio

In February, Susan Fowler’s blog post detailing sexual harassment and discrimination at Uber went viral, leading to an investigation into the company’s workplace culture and subsequently to the firing of 20 employees.

In July, the BBC released their salary list for the first time, showing that the highest-paid man made four times more than the highest-paid woman.

In the US, Trump has appointed only four women to his Cabinet. And in October, decades of allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein finally surfaced in the public eye, revealing the systemic abuse of young actresses in Hollywood.

In 2017, widespread awareness was finally raised after each shocking revelation, whether it be in tech, politics, or entertainment, left the world rightly appalled. The world’s attention has now been captured — it is vital that this momentum is maintained as we enter into 2018. We need to transform words and hashtags into real change and progress.

As Ruth Davidson fittingly wrote in last weeks Evening Standard: “Closing the gender pay gap, gender-blind recruitment and promotion, confronting sexual harassment and cracking down on real-life and online misogynistic attacks are the next frontiers in a war that is not yet won”.

There is still a long way to go, but we in the tech community can contribute to the fight for diversity and equality by encouraging more women to enter the industry through improved hiring and recruitment practices and ensuring equal pay. While these issues are not simple, there are little actions you can take to make a big difference. 

Let’s start with some practical ways to hire for gender diversity and reduce bias in your recruitment process.

Job Titles and Descriptions

Textio AnalysisSteer clear from descriptions like “Rockstar” and “Ninja”, which studies show can put off female candidates. Buffer found that when they used “Hacker” rather than Developer in job titles, they attracted a very low percentage (2% to be precise) of female candidates to the roles. 

A recent analysis, care of text-analysis startup Textio, of 25,000 job descriptions found that individual companies form unique language patterns by repeating certain words and phrases more frequently in their job ads.

For example, Uber’s most commonly used terms in job descriptions are “whatever it takes”, “high-performance culture” and “all-star”, with “whatever it takes” being used by Uber 30 times more frequently than the next closest company. This language certainly reflects Uber’s employer brand, but also results in a higher proportion of applications from men.

Generally, words and phrases associated with male stereotypes, such as “assertive”, “aggressive” or “competitive”, can dissuade women from applying to roles. To combat this, click here to use a decoder to check if your job ad is overly biased. 

It’s likely that you’ve heard this statistic, cited in Lean In and many other sources: Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of qualifications, whereas women apply only if they meet 100% of them.

So, don’t list a qualification unless it is truly required because if there is already a limited talent pool for the particular role, it will be even more difficult to find female candidates who view the job as attainable. Your job description does not have to suffer — just be critical about removing anything that can filter out quality applicants, for example coming from a top-tier university or having a certain degree. 

The Interview Process

Now you’re attracting more female applicants, it’s important to reflect on your interview process. Are you involving women? Are you prepared to answer questions that candidates might have to determine whether the business is truly inclusive (such as, whether there are any diversity initiatives in place)? Are you biased in ways you don’t even realise? The latter is likely — we all have unconscious biases.

When you’re attempting to diversify your hiring, it’s important to become aware of them. Harvard University has online tests (a gender one in particular) that can help you identify these biases and ensure that everyone is treated fairly.


Unconscious Bias @ Work | Google Ventures

Company Culture and Equal Pay 

It’s important not only to bring women into tech companies, but to keep them. Proactively create an inclusive and supportive culture by providing access to leadership, mentorship programs, work time flexibility, or supporting new mothers. For example, when Google expanded paid maternity from 12 weeks to 18 weeks, the rate of new mums quitting fell 50%.

Back in 2014, Buffer introduced their Transparent Salary Formula that calculates salaries based on job type, seniority, experience and location. The following year, they went so far as to publish their entire team’s salaries. While some might consider this an extreme measure, removing secrecy and encouraging open and transparent dialogue around salary can level the playing field. Conduct internal assessments to identify whether a pay gap exists within your company; and if there is, make it your 2018 goal to rectify it. For example, Salesforce dedicated $3 million towards equal pay after an assessment revealed the disparity within their company.

In taking these steps together, let’s make 2018 the year that we Shatter The Glass.

About Jobbio & Startacus

Startacus and Jobbio have joined forces to create a careers channel for the startup community. Startup employers (new to Jobbio) can post their first job for FREE - Find out more about that here. Talent seeking employment within the startup community can also view and apply for a whole host of startup jobs as listed below.

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Published on: 13th January 2018

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