Inspiring Inclusion in the Workplace

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Concept Admin

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March 5, 2024

As International Women’s Day approaches, it’s not just a day to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide, but also to reflect on the strides we still need to take towards gender equality.

The international theme for 2024, #InspireInclusion, encourages conversations and actions to ensure the needs, interests and aspirations of women and girls are valued and included. At Concept, we believe that fostering diversity and inclusion is both a moral imperative and a strategic advantage for businesses and organisations.

Within recruitment, inclusion begins with recognising and addressing biases that may exist in the hiring process. Employers often unwittingly perpetuate gender disparities by relying on traditional, outdated hiring methods that favour certain demographics. As recruiters, it’s our responsibility to challenge these norms and advocate for inclusive practices.

How can employers implement inclusive practices?

Employers can promote inclusivity is by implementing blind recruitment techniques. Removing identifying information such as names and gender from CVs ensures that candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications and experience, mitigating unconscious biases. Outsourcing hiring with a talent partner can partly remove responsibility and involvement from internal teams in the hiring process, making it easier to enforce inclusive practices.

In addition to this, actively seeking diverse candidates can help bridge the gender gap and encourage diversity and inclusion when hiring. The use of biased language or gendered language in job advertisements often reflect stereotypical gender roles, which in turn has an immediate influence on who applies for the role. To prevent this, carefully examine the language used (such as he/she), and job titles (such as postman); this also ensures inclusivity for those who identify as gender-fluid or non-binary.

Furthermore, using an interview panel with colleagues of different genders, ethnicities, social backgrounds and ages can help to prevent unconscious biases from happening during the interview stage.

Inclusion doesn’t end once the candidate is hired.

Inclusivity must extend to the workplace environment as well. Offering flexible work arrangements can ease pressure on parents with young children. Providing mentorship programs and leadership opportunities for women empowers them to advance in their careers. Moreover, fostering a culture of respect and zero tolerance for discrimination creates a safe space where everyone can thrive, which can be encouraged through unconscious bias training.

Nicola Copeland, Operations Director at Concept, emphasises the importance of inclusion in our processes in our internal operations and client processes:

At Concept, inclusion is not just a checkbox; it’s ingrained in our DNA. We believe that diverse teams drive innovation and success. That’s why we’re committed to advocating for women in the workplace, and creating an environment within Concept and our clients, where everyone can thrive.”

Gender pay gap in tech industries

The gender pay gap remains a persistent issue, particularly in tech industries where women make up 26% of the workforce. The latest reports show that in tech, 91.1% of companies pay their male employees more than their female staff. This puts the tech industry’s gender pay gap at 16%, higher than the national average of 11.6% (Women in Tech, 2023). Addressing this disparity requires concerted efforts from both employers and policymakers to ensure pay equity and equal opportunities for women in all fields.

But it’s not all doom and gloom – on a positive note, the gap has decreased compared to 2020-21, when it stood at 17.3% (Verdict, 2022). This shows positive steps are being made, yet on a frustratingly slow rate.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us recommit ourselves to building a world where gender equality is not just a dream but a reality. Through inclusive hiring practices and fostering diverse and supportive workplaces, we can #InspireInclusion and empower women to reach their full potential.

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