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Remedying this inequality is essential to provide equal opportunity and to the global economic recovery from the pandemic - evidence shows that companies with a higher proportion of senior women are more productive and competitive and less likely to fail.
In our latest article, we wanted to take a deeper dive into equality, particularly looking at how to improve your talent acquisition strategy, ensuring your business is future-proofed for diversity.
Before you start planning for diversity targets and implementing new strategies, take an unbiased look around your office. Does it radiate inclusivity?
For example, consider the Muslim employee who feels self-conscious about maintaining his daily prayer routine on company grounds, the native Polish speaker who doesn't feel comfortable speaking any language other than English in workplace common areas, or the breastfeeding mother who has returned to work.
Does your company cater to everyone?
After all, the top management of a company speaks volumes about your culture.
In order to attract and retain a diverse talent pool, you must consider the motivations of potential candidates. For example, generation Z are very much concerned with social and diversity issues. According to the World Economic Forum, 72% of Gen Z said racial equality and diversity is the most critical issue today. (WEF)
By considering a more diverse acquisition strategy, including the motivations of your talent pool, people from across the globe, with varying skill sets, will want to work with you.
To do so, you must be authentic. A diverse strategy goes way beyond simply celebrating a wider mix of cultural days. For example, you may want to consider diversity and equality training for staff members at all levels of your business, to rid any lingering and outdated biases.
Considering a candidate's experience is paramount to a successful and diverse talent acquisition strategy. For example, if you have increased your search area to attract a more diverse talent pool, you may want to consider brushing up on information that could be helpful to candidates who are relocating for a role.
Future proofing your talent acquisition strategy doesn’t always require radical change. Simple adjustments such as improving the inclusivity of your job advertisements can go a long way. For example, consider the language and the tone you use - is it predominantly masculine and therefore only appealing to a specific male audience?
Are you hiring because the candidate reminds you of yourself or are you hiring because they possess different talents and will bring a new, exciting outlook to key decisions throughout the business?
Diversity in STEM, especially when it comes to gender diversity, is a problem for many employers who often struggle to find suitable candidates to achieve their targets.
According to Wise Campaign only 24% of the STEM workforce are women compared to 76% men. However, the number of women opting for STEM related subjects at university is improving.
However, despite the exposure around the lack of women in STEM, there are some STEM subjects that are dominated by women, such as biological science. In 2018, HESA UCAS data, published figures detailing that 60% of students studying biology are female.
Why is this important? While their subject may not be directly related to your industry, it is quite possible that their skill set is. Perhaps employers are failing to reach their gender diversity targets because they are not looking in the right place or not casting their net widely enough.
Of course, these graduates will have a strong academic performance, can adapt quickly and are able to process and understand data, alongside solid interpersonal skills. In order to fill this pipeline issue, talent acquisition strategies should consider transferable skills with higher regard.
Without a doubt, this change isn’t going to happen overnight. However, taking steps now can help ensure your business is future-proofed so that the next generation of diverse, talented candidates can flourish.