October 26, 2015
Societal norms are the reason why we see some jobs as gender-specific. While changing society’s perspective on gender roles in the workplace is a lofty goal, HR can still make an effort to increase gender diversity by the way it hires. Here are ways to avoid gender discrimination throughout the hiring process.
Job Requisite & Recruiting
The first place to stop gender discrimination and to promote gender diversity in the hiring process is the job requisite. The job’s major responsibilities should be scoured for gender-specific words. According to Time’s “Study: Women Do Not Apply To ‘Male-Sounding’ Jobs,” these words sounded too masculine and deterred women from applying for jobs: assertive, independent, and analytical. In Evidence That Gendered Wording in Job Advertisements Exists and Sustains Gender Inequality, some “female-associated words” were: understanding, supportive and interpersonal. A way to avoid gender discrimination when picking applicants to move forward on and interview is to remove the names on the resume and choose the applicants that will best fit the job.
The Interview and Deciding on the Right Candidate
Before the interview, HR should be included to review the questions that are going to be asked. Like a job posting, there can be subtle gender-biased words in the interview questions. During the interview, the potential candidate should be interviewed by different members of the team to offer different perspectives. Another tip is to document or transcribe answers to interview questions so you can review later to avoid discrimination. Something helpful would be creating a scorecard of desired attributes and score candidates. This will prevent inadvertent subconscious bias, and the hiring will be based on objective qualities versus a subjective feeling.
After Hiring the Candidate
After the hiring manager has vetted all of the potential candidates and decided on the right person, make sure that the manager and new hire have completed all of their training on gender diversity issues. Offer quarterly check-ins so they can come to HR in private with any issues. Something that should happen throughout the year is evaluating if the company’s culture is really aligned with diversity. How do the company’s workforce diversity reports compare to companies in the same industry? Keep up with how other companies are tackling the diversity issue and learn from their mistakes as well as their beneficial strategies to make gender diversity a priority.