Hiring women doesn’t need to be such a challenge. There are just as many women for hire as men in many industries. So why aren’t women represented as equally as men? When it comes to closing the gender gap in your company, there are a few practices you can analyze to help encourage gender diversity.
Pay Your Male and Female Employees Equally
The most obvious way to close the gender gap in your company is to pay your male and female employees the same. Women often make less than men because they have been paid less at other positions or have experienced a gap in employment as the results of leaves, such as maternity or because of illness (when a family member is sick, it’s often the women who are expected to take time off of work).
The easiest way to find out who is paid what at your company is to perform an audit. Analyze the difference between the way women are paid at your company, compared to their male counterparts.
Offer Women-Specific Benefits
Many companies offer paltry benefits for women. In 2018, there were only 24 women CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. That means that men are in control of the benefits. Which is why offices are now overrun with pool and ping-pong tables and kegs of beer.
Hey, we love beer — but can’t we do better? What about work-life balance?
Consider women-specific benefits, such as breastfeeding rooms, new mother parking spots and onsite childcare.
Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd made news this year by introducing even more women-focused benefits, such as parental leave, reimbursements for breast milk home delivery and parental stipends.
Women for Hire: Change Your HR Culture
The next step is to look at your hiring process. Browse through your company’s job descriptions, training manuals and other in-house materials. Are they gender-neutral? Or, do they favor one gender over the other? When it comes to hiring women, you need to look at the subconscious messages your company is sending your employees. Who is the target of dos and don’ts lists? Are men celebrated more than women?
Consider Your Company’s Marketing Strategy
Take a look at your marketing materials, including your website, brochures and pamphlets. Who is represented in the images and in the copy? If women are represented, how are they represented? Are they shown as docile and weak? Are they portrayed as leaders? What is the power dynamic of the characters in your marketing materials? A company that doesn’t include a diverse representation of women in its message won’t naturally attract many female employees.
Do your company’s leaders openly encourage diversity? Does your company donate to minority organizations? Are you vocal about inclusivity? Even if the diversity isn’t necessarily specific to women-focused organizations, you can still benefit from encouraging diversity on a broad scale.