Recently, I spoke on the Actionable Marketing podcast, where I spoke with Ben Sailer of CoSchedule.
We talked a lot about gender equity in the workplace (including what it means and why it's important), how those in marketing can help address gender equity, and I shared some practical tips on how you can strive for a more diverse place of business.
One of Ben's questions was if a CMO or marketing leader is concerned about gender equity within their organization, how I recommend that they begin to address the situation. For me, I could think of 3 ways - and I believe these apply regardless of function (marketing, sales, engineering, etc.)
1 - Build an enabling environment.
This is where Head of People Operations, and HR folks really shine, so as a Marketing Leader, I definitely start with them to see what their recommendations are. Outside of that, I would obviously allow employees the option to work from home and offer flexible hours, so that people can get their work done where and when it is most convenient for them. In many cases, the global pandemic forced this for many companies, but may employees appreciated this new level of autonomy, and I would advise employers to consider keeping these practices moving forward.
2 - Create inclusive hiring practices.
There are a few ways you can build in gender equity starting at the hiring level. First off, let's all agree to remove that degree requirement. We all know educational paths are not always linear, especially in business - I have a Bachelor in Fine Arts Degree. So unless you are hiring a lawyer or a doctor, get rid of the "related degree required" field, shall we?
Next, simplify the job requirements. When looking at a laundry list of job requirements, women will tend to apply to a job if they feel they have met 100% of the required skills, or experience, where men apply when they have 60%,
I would also encourage you to have a diverse interview panel when meeting with candidates: get opinions from different ages, ethnicities and gender to get a holistic view on the type of person you are hiring for.
Lastly, let's stop asking for salary history: this question unfairly penalizes women who are already affected by the gender pay gap, and is largely irrelevant to whether a candidate can get the job done, and done well. Chances are, you already have a budget for the hire: let's start there.
3. Focus on Results.
My last piece of advise to executives is to make sure that your team is constantly getting visibility for their achievements - especially the women on your team. This visibility will help when promotion time comes around, some women tend to need more coaching or don’t feel like they should "show off," by sharing with the team their latest accomplishments.
For more insights around gender equity in the workplace, listen to the Actionable Marketing Podcast episode here.
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