Diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace is hardly a new topic. Still yet, the statistics of women (of any race) in leadership positions are still heartbreakingly low. Seventy-three percent of women report bias in the workplace, and still yet, less than a third of employees are able to recognize it when it occurs in their presence. It’s clear that unconscious bias is rampant. Unconscious bias refers to unconscious forms of discrimination and stereotyping based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, age, etc. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it harder for women and minorities to get hired and promoted and can negatively impact businesses.
A recent McKinsey study showed that businesses that maintain a diverse culture outperform their competition:
- Companies with the highest gender diversity are 25 percent more likely to have higher profits
- Companies with higher cultural and ethnic diversity are 36 percent more likely to have above-average profits
- 64 percent of job candidates say diversity and inclusion are critical considerations when accepting a job
- 87 percent of the time, more diverse teams make better decisions than individual decision-makers
- More diverse companies are 1.7x more innovative than less diverse companies
At MomSource, we recommend incorporating DEI practices into every aspect of your business. This begins with being intentional about creating unbiased hiring practices—specifically, job descriptions. A good job description forms the basis of the relationship between employer and employee and can be used in measurable ways throughout the new hire process and into the future. For example, it should direct portions of the employee onboarding, help set goals and measure growth and can be referenced during performance reviews.
Reviewing your job descriptions and removing all biased language cultivates a more inclusive and diverse workplace. Many hiring practices subconsciously promote masculine leadership traits which inadvertently attracts a homogenous pool of talent. It has been long reported that men will apply for a job when they meet 60 percent of the qualifications, whereas women will apply only if they meet 100 percent of the qualifications. Having masculine coded wording deters women from applying, which ultimately has long term effects on a business’s leadership pipeline.
“Often, our clients uncover that they have artificially narrowed the pipeline of diverse talent applying for their jobs due to inflated or outdated job requirements that might deter qualified candidates from applying, especially women. Ensuring candidates from all backgrounds can find and understand your job descriptions is critical in promoting an inclusive hiring process.”
– Pam Jeffords, Sr. Partner Sapient Insights Group and MomSource Network Advisor
While women generally use a more communal style of speech and are more drawn to words such as “understand”, “interpersonal” and “collaborate”. Masculine-gendered words tend to be more associated with power, such as “independent”, “determine” and “strong”. Replacing these terms with more inclusive language broadens the talent pool and allows businesses to recruit top employees.
Refreshing job descriptions for maximum inclusivity may be the first step of your hiring process, but it shouldn’t stop there. Recruitment of candidates from varied professional, socioeconomic and personal backgrounds is equally as significant. It is important to note that diversity attracts diversity. While showcasing your company’s mission, values and culture are important, representation matters and it is valuable to highlight your current diversity. Some examples include the images on your website, having a diverse hiring (and leadership) team, promoting your DEI analytics.
Lastly, all DEI initiatives should be measurable and approached with the same rigor as any other mission-critical business initiative in your company. By setting attainable and time-boxed goals for your organization, you will ensure you’re moving the needle in a meaningful way. We can start that process for you by refreshing your job descriptions for maximum inclusivity which will help you create a more vibrant, diverse and robust talent pipeline. Our clients are committed to delivering superior business results and diverse teams yield the greatest returns.