The Guardian: The three things holding women back at work

Paula Parfitt, Cielo’s Senior Vice President of Europe, wrote an article for The Guardian that addresses the three things holding women back at work. She takes a close look at the reasons organizations still struggle to address diversity in the boardroom despite some improvements over the last four years, and recommends small changes that will have a big impact on gender diversity in the workplace.

Excerpts From the Article:

“For example, women are less likely to apply for roles with long job descriptions and won’t put themselves forward if they don’t meet each and every entry criteria – unlike men. Therefore, hiring organisations need to think carefully about how job adverts and recruitment literature are written.”

“We also know that female candidates tend to be judged on experience, whereas male candidates are assessed on potential, and that interviewers are more likely to question women than men on their ability to balance work and family life. It is essential that hiring committees consider candidates on equal terms if they are to avoid putting women immediately on the back foot through unconscious choices.”

“Unconscious biases can be very difficult to weed out. By applying a consistent and thoughtful system across the talent acquisition process, businesses can be sure to avoid inadvertently excluding the best candidates.”

“Battle stereotypes: this could be through setting up and partnering with school and university outreach programmes, or by challenging internal expectations and language used around job descriptions and promotions. Don’t accept lazy clichés about what men and women are capable of – do look at individual attributes.”

Paula explains that companies must do more than address policies for childcare and flexible schedules – they must also address their culture and beliefs. Read the full article, “The three things holding women back at work,” on The Guardian’s website.