How to attract women into senior positions

attract women into senior positionsEquality and diversity in the workplace is becoming a topic that is frequently discussed, especially in the technology industry. With there being a lot of focus on creating a diverse workforce and attracting women into the industry, some forget about how important it is to attract women into senior positions as well as entry level. There is a lot of evidence that suggests companies with women in senior or leadership positions can have a lot of positive effects on business performance, one being an increase in profits.

In 2018, a survey was conducted that found many women feel ready to move into leadership positions but are afraid to in case they make mistakes as they feel they would be harshly judged by males. Results also showed that women believe there is a bias in both pay and distribution favouring their male peers. Therefore, if you are looking to attract women into senior positions then it is important to consider the changes you will need to make to encourage more women to apply for senior roles.

Providing suitable salary and benefits on job descriptions

One of the most talked about elements in the tech industry and in business in general is the gender gay gap, which even though is an average, still sees men’s pay packages significantly outweighing women’s. As more companies are striving to close the gender pay gap, creating a competitive salary that matches a male’s salary within an organisation and appeals to women, will help to attract them into senior positions.

Along with displaying a suitable salary on a job description, having benefits such as flexible working is another way to attract women into senior positions in tech. Offering women flexible hours allows professional women to balance work and family life more effectively. According to Timewise, 91% of women working full time either work flexibly or would prefer to. Therefore, allowing female workers to work flexibly would make roles more appealing when attracting women into senior positions.

Conducting the most appropriate hiring and interview processes

When attracting women into senior positions, it is essential to ensure the criteria listed on job advertisements are all relevant to the job. This will then help when it comes to the interview process. To ensure the hiring process is fair, it is recommended to test applicants on their skills using exercises and tasks as this will help to ensure the hiring process is focused solely on talent and ability to do the job.

Once women are attracted to the senior role, it is important to make sure that the interview process is female friendly, as candidates will base their suitability for the role on the working environment they have entered. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that women sometimes feel intimidated by male workers in similar positions, so to make them feel more welcome, comfortable and to show them there are females in the organisation, it is recommended that a female is present during the interview process.

Showcase your current and future diversity initiatives

When viewing a job application, most candidates will look for further information about a company before they proceed to apply. Therefore, it is beneficial to showcase any diversity initiatives that your company is achieving either on your site, via the job advertisement or on social media. The majority of women are more attracted to a company that talks openly about diversity within their business compared to those who do not talk about it at all.

Therefore, showcasing how diverse your company is will attract women into senior positions as it shows that the organisation values its employees and is an inclusive place to work. Many employees who are in senior positions are likely to implement new diversity initiatives into the organisation, so by already openly discussing what you do will appeal to women as they know they will be entering a workplace where they feel comfortable to discuss new initiatives.

Provide opportunities to train and be mentored

Within the benefits offered to women to attract them into senior positions, it is beneficial to include training and mentoring opportunities. Therefore, this doesn’t just appeal to women who you want to hire externally but it’s also appealing to those internally.

Offering mentoring opportunities in job descriptions will attract women into senior positions as it is assured that they will have the chance to have support if and when they need it. Mentoring has many benefits to individuals as well as companies, as it ensures career progression and a chance to increase a company’s diverse workforce and productivity. Mentoring is also a great way of teaching a new employee about the organisation they are joining, and the skill set they will need. Having a chance to train as a woman in tech is very appealing as there are so few, especially in senior positions. Therefore, offering training and development on job descriptions will attract women into senior positions as they know they will have a chance to grow within the business and learn new skills that will aid their career development.

Read more on attracting women into tech and mentorships.