As Women's History Month comes to a close, now is the time to discuss how employer brand professionals can continue to #breakthebias in the workplace. There are many ways to do this, but we have three key ways to get started: finding and sharing the stories of successful women, collecting data to understand employees' wants and needs, and reducing gender bias in job postings. Each of these are important in their own way, but together they can make a real impact on the workplace landscape.
1. Find and share stories of successful women who are breaking down barriers at work within your organization.
At exaqueo, we believe in bringing your Whole Self to work. While we recognize vulnerability is no easy feat, one of the best ways to help break the bias is to show the reality of those biases that exist, and authentically share the stories of women who are succeeding in spite of them.
Highlighting women’s experiences in your organization is a great way to help educate others on what's possible, and can also inspire women inside and outside your organization who may be feeling discouraged or broken down.
The beginning of this blog post, written by my colleague and senior employer brand strategist, Alyssa Bani is a great example of how a new mother chose to amplify her voice to break the bias, upon her return to work after maternity leave. It also includes eight ways companies can help support mothers returning to work from maternity leave.
Sharing these kinds of employee stories will humanize your organization’s employee experience, and allow candidates to hear directly from those already within your organization. Additionally, employers can use social media platforms to drive conversation around gender equality in the workplace and create content that challenges stereotypes.
2. Collect data to understand employees' wants and needs.
Another way to help break the bias in the workplace is by understanding what employees want and need from their employer. Even in female-dominated workplaces, women continue to lower their aspirations due to personal conflicts or lack of work-life balance support.
By understanding what employees are looking for, employers can work to create an environment that is more conducive to women's success.
3. Reduce gender bias in job postings.
Finally, employer brand professionals can help break the bias by reducing gender bias in job postings. In her most recent blog post, Are Your Job Postings Turning Talent Away?, associate employer brand strategist, Jazmyn Mijuskovic states, "If you’re not making the necessary job responsibilities and requirements easy to understand at the outset, you’re leaving it up to the candidate to interpret whether or not they’re qualified. Many (including most women) will opt-out, leaving you with a small, under-qualified, pool of talent that lacks diversity."
This piece on Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified from Tara Sophia Mohr in Harvard Business Review states that 78% of women's reasons for not applying to certain jobs have to do with reading the qualifications as the actual requirements for a position and believing that the hiring process is "by-the-book" with little to no flexibility.
This is a problem that we can all help to rectify. By reducing gender bias, sharing success stories, and understanding the wants and needs of women in your organization, you can help #breakthebias and ultimately increase the diversity of our workforce.