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March 3, 2019

EDGE Think Tank: Leveraging your Employer Brand to Attract a Diverse Workforce

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WORK180 recently hosted the February Executives Driving Gender Equality (EDGE) Think Tank: Leveraging your Employer Brand to Attract a Diverse Workforce.

According to the LinkedIn Global Recruitment Trends report, diversity is the number one hiring trend with 78% of companies indicating they are prioritizing diversity to improve culture, and 62% are doing so to boost financial performance.

With many companies working hard to improve their employer branding, it is especially challenging for those in non-traditional industries who wish to increase women in their workplace.

WORK180 have been helping companies, in some of the most non-traditional industries, leverage employer branding to achieve outstanding results and have developed a winning formula for success.

Outlined in this article are key learnings, challenges and observations that Senior Executives and Thought Leaders addressed during the EDGE session.

Changing mindsets

Amongst the Diversity & Inclusion leaders, there was a clear consensus that a lot of work had to be done in order to shift the mindset of hiring managers.

Endorsed Employer for Woman, Schneider Electric, are an excellent example of a business that reaps the benefits of diversity of thought and seeking our cross transferable skills. Schneider Electric recently hired Alice Williams as their Senior Business Analyst. This was after Alice spent 9 years in the British Army. Hiring candidates with a wealth of experience in different industries and sectors is key to business growth.

Peter Hogg, Talent Acquisition & Mobility Manager at Schneider Electric, stated:

“When replacing someone who is leaving, don’t look to replace them with someone who is the same. There is no shortage of talent, take a risk and back it up externally.”

Candidates value transparency

Companies that publish their pay gap figures are often concerned with exposing inequalities. However, research shows that candidates value employers who expose their pay gap. Pay transparency highlights that organizations are actively thinking and debating about how to ensure pay equity and the correct way to communicate that to employees. Salary secrecy won’t benefit employees, but rather the organization.

Kaammini Chanrai, Gender Research and Policy Manager from Business in the Community, highlights the need to:

“Never hide behind the figures and attach actions to disappointing numbers. What matters more is that you recognize the problem and are choosing to tackle it.”

Rebecca Claridge, Senior HR Manage, from BDO agrees with Kaammini.

“It’s very important to be honest and talk about progress, rather than focus on ‘perfection’.”

Learning from Millennials and Generation Z

By 2020, Millennials will make up 35% of the global workforce & Gen Z will make up 24%. This number equates to more than half the entire workforce population. Not only do businesses need to adapt workplace policies into order to attract talent from this generation, they also need to realize the major benefits that millennials and Gen Z’s can teach us.

Estelle Jackson, Global Diversity, inclusion and Belonging Lead at Plantronics, highlights the importance of not just ticking a box when it comes to appealing to this generation but “understanding what problem they can solve”. For example, reverse mentoring, a forward thinking initiative that both Plantronics and Schneider Electric are experimenting with. With new advancements in technology everyday, we need millennials to teach us how to adapt and how to be at the forefront of the digital revolution.

Creating an authentic brand on social media

Many leaders spoke about the importance of encouraging team members to ‘live and breathe’ aspects of their employer brand.

Estelle pointed out that showing employees are able to “bring their authentic selves to work” gives job seekers an honest representation of what it really means to join your organization.

Likewise, companies need to use honest employee staff profiles and steer clear of stock imagery as part of their recruitment strategy. Blog posts about the real reasons team members need flexibility will go a long way in attracting talent. Here are some of our most popular blogs on this topic:

In this digital age, social media has the power to change perceptions. A simple google search of ‘engineer’ into google showcases a mainly white male cast. However, ‘WORK180 engineer’ shows a variety of woman from different backgrounds. Job seekers will be more likely to trust companies highlighted in this search.

We are delighted to have hosted this event at the offices of Endorsed Employer for Women, Schneider Electric. We welcomed Schneider Electric to our platform due to their offering of flexible working, 13 weeks maternity leave, access to leadership development programs along with a number of other initiatives. Read more about Schneider Electric progressive policies here.

For those who’d like to find out their employer branding ‘score’, please get in touch with us. Completing the employer branding checklist is complementary and will help you to understand where your gaps and opportunities may be in your employer branding journey.

About the EDGE Think Tank

The EDGE Think Tank consists of an Executive Panel of proactive industry leaders selected for their drive and the collective experience to move the dial on gender equality. We convene quarterly for live discussion and debate, with additional collaboration and information sharing encouraged and supported throughout the year. Facilitated by WORK180 Founders and Gender Equality Specialists Gemma Lloyd and Valeria Ignatieva, we exist to accelerate progress towards three key goals:

  • Achieve equal pay for women and men in the UK
  • Increase the percentage of women in UK leadership roles
  • Increase the participation of women in traditionally male-dominated industries

We will achieve this by:

  • Collaborating and sharing best practice to improve our own organizations’ actions
  • Promoting the issues and the solutions to our networks, and encouraging change, one company at a time
  • Uniting to influence UK policymakers to shine a light on, and meaningfully support, this critical agenda

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About the Author
WORK180 promotes organizational standards that raise the bar for women in the workplace. We only endorse employers that are committed to making real progress so that all women can expect better.

Looking for a new opportunity?

Our transparent job board only has vacancies from employers we endorse and lets you see what benefits, policies and perks come with the job.