Is your Shortlisting Gender Neutral?

gender equal team

Is your Shortlisting Gender Neutral?

Ironing out gender bias in the recruitment process.

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

Are you confident that your shortlisting process is totally unbiased? Gender neutral shortlisting starts from way before you read the CVs. First ask yourself, are you looking for ‘someone like me’? Or someone like a particular person in the team?

This mindset prevents diversity from the start. 

Create a diverse team, including a woman to collate your shortlist criteria. This helps to iron out inherent biases in your process. This team can provide a different perspective and help your process become more inclusive. Women typically don’t apply for a role if they don’t think they are 100% qualified, so be honest and fair in setting out this criteria.

This leads to a closer look at which skills, experiences, and qualities are actually essential and which are nice to have. Be sure that you don’t think an item on your shortlist is essential, when there are alternative skills, experiences, and qualities that are just as valuable.

Research and experience has shown us that women tend to be more modest in the job application process. Be aware of this when reading applications and in interviews. Be inquisitive rather than ready to strike someone off because they didn’t ‘sell’ themselves. In the interview, ask about their experiences, give them time to talk. The more inquisitive you are with all your candidates, the fairer picture you will build of their capabilities.

As always, if you need any help with the recruitment of people of all genders or assistance with your international payroll, get in touch. 

Payroll Series Part 3: How We Help You To Stay Compliant

illustrative image global payroll

New International Payroll Series

Project Recruit International Payroll Services:
How We Help You To Stay Compliant

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

At Project Recruit we put our clients first. When international recruitment and payroll liabilities change, we work with our clients to meet these new obligations.

As a result of coming global legislation changes, all companies with staff in more than one country will have increased payroll liabilities. At Project Recruit we have worked extensively with our clients to develop internationally complaint payroll, with the customer care of a localised service.

We have developed partnerships with 32 accountancy firms to ensure global understanding of complex legal responsibilities. We have been working with our international payroll teams to develop complex knowledge requirements. Our account managers have been working closely with each client to develop a payroll system that works for them, ensures compliance and is easy to manage. We’re not happy until you’re happy (and compliant).

Our network provides global coverage of payroll legislation and systems. This allows our clients to comply with the laws now, and the laws as they change. If you have any queries about international payroll and how it may affect you, feel free to get in touch. We will get back to you with relevant information, specific to your query.

For more information on the coming payroll changes read this article: Workplace Internationalization has Triggered a Change in Tax Liabilities

To ask for help with your payroll or recruitment: Get in touch.

Got questions about payroll?

If you have any queries or concerns, just send us a message. One of our payroll experts will email you back with relevant information to your query.

Payroll Series Part 2: Insource vs Outsource

illustrative image global payroll

New International Payroll Series

Meeting New Payroll Requirements.
Should you outsource or insource?

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

International payroll is changing big time. The legal responsibility is being placed on companies to ensure correct employment status allocation and income tax payments, for every country in which their staff reside. This means international HR knowledge is essential to ensure legal compliance.

So, how can you best prepare for these changes? The depth and breadth of knowledge required to become internationally complaint is vast. Understanding the legal documentation requires the ability to read different languages and understand country specific legal terminology. Also, it isn’t enough just to know the legal framework in each country at the present time, these laws are evolving. A company needs the ability to remain compliant as the laws change.

If you have a legal representative and a payroll team in each of the countries that your staff reside, this is a good start. If you want to run payroll in house, this gives you the chance to adapt to the new laws. You will still need to develop a system for tracking where your staff are and how their payroll should be processed. You will need a system for ensuring correct employment status in accordance with the laws of the country they reside. You’ll also need to be aware of cross-country laws, someone staff may need to meet the legal framework of more than one country.

If you are looking to outsource your payroll, a firm with a UK focus will not give you the legal compliance you need. Be sure to find a firm that has global payroll know-how. Ideally one that operates internationally but treats you with the customer care of a local firm. And of course make sure it is trusted firm that has a good reputation. For many, outside specialist help will be critical for compliance. But make sure you get a firm that covers the countries relevant to your company.

For example at Project Recruit, we have partnered with 32 accountancy firms in order to ensure the acquisition of such complex knowledge requirements. These firms provide global coverage of payroll legislation and systems. This allows our clients to comply with the laws now, and the laws as they change.

If you have any queries about international payroll and how it may effect you, feel free to get in touch. We will get back to you with relevant information, specific to your query.

Got questions about payroll?

If you have any queries or concerns, just send us a message. One of our payroll experts will email you back with relevant information to your query.

Payroll Series Part 1: New Payroll Expectations!

illustrative image global payroll

New International Payroll Series

New Payroll Expectations!
Make sure your payroll is in line with new legislation.

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

Did you know that today’s international mode of working is changing tax laws? And that companies are becoming increasingly liable for ensuring correct tax payments, in every country in which their staff operate?

If you have staff in multiple countries, on different types of contracts this can be a mine field.

Since the introduction of IR35 in the UK, other countries have been reviewing how they collect income tax. This includes clamping down on the employment status definitions of residents. It also includes how individuals are paying income tax and who they are paying it to. The trouble is, it’s difficult for governments to track the tax status and payments of every single person. As a result, the onus is being placed on the company. The company is becoming increasingly responsible for correct income tax payments and employment status allocation, for every country in which their staff reside.

This means companies need to get savvy to international employment law. Companies need to fully understand the legal framework for assigning employment status, in every country that their staff are working from. They need to ensure correct tax payments in each of these countries too. In some cases, this may be tax payments to more than one country for one person.

The complexity of this changing legislation is not an easy task if you have 100 staff in Germany, 2 in Spain, 1 in Japan, and so on.

This change will no doubt effect the mobility of the modern workplace, especially for anyone wanting to live in two countries. For instance if someone usually resides in the UK but plans to work from their home in a sunnier country for a few months, the company needs to know details. They need to know how long that person can be in each country before their tax status changes and alter any payments accordingly.

Companies such as GSK have already been called to account regarding IR35. If you don’t have the legal in-house know how, it’s time to get some experienced help with your payroll. Companies need experienced HR specialists that know the laws in the countries relevant to them. At Project Recruit, we have partnered with 32 accountancy firms in order to ensure the acquisition of such complex knowledge requirements. These firms provide global coverage of payroll legislation and systems. This allows our clients to comply with the laws now, and the laws as they change.

If you have any queries about international payroll and how it may affect you, feel free to get in touch. We will get back to you with relevant information, specific to your query

Got questions about payroll?

If you have any queries or concerns, just send us a message. One of our payroll experts will email you back with relevant information to your query.

Workplace Internationalization has Triggered a Change in Tax Liabilities

international team on payroll

Workplace Internationalization has Triggered a Change in Tax Liabilities

The legal obligations of companies are changing as the workplace goes global.

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

We live in a world of international working and localised tax legislation. How do companies manage the complex tax requirements for an international workforce? How is government tax legislation changing to deal with an increasing number of people working for companies in a different country to where they reside?

There is an increasing trend to remote and international working which has been accelerated following the Brexit vote and the pandemic. Following the Brexit vote, the number of people leaving the UK to live in the EU rose by 30% (1). From 2016-18 this averaged at 73,642 people emigrating per year (2). As a response to the pandemic, the 20 countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases sent 37% of migrants home (3). In both instances, many people continued to work for their UK employer after leaving the UK. But, who is receiving their tax? And who should be receiving their tax? The question may sound obvious, but workforce internationalization is resulting in significant amounts of tax avoidance.

If a programmer for example, has gone home to Germany but continues to work for the same company as they did in the UK, who are they paying income tax to? And is that employee aware that they need to pay income tax in their own country? In this particular instance the two countries have an agreement to avoid double taxation, but it isn’t simple.

If this same programmer is working as a contractor for a UK company and living in Germany, how do the German authorities know they need to collect tax from this person? It is difficult to regulate when each individual is responsible for paying their taxes correctly.

Monitoring who should be paying taxes to whom, is a complex challenge for authorities. As a result many countries are changing their tax legislation to clamp down on tax avoidance. The IR35 legislation in the UK was brought in to ensure UK employers assign correct employment status to their workforce. This legislation places the legal responsibility for paying tax, on the company rather than the individual. This legislation is being adapted and implemented in other countries as a means to tackle this tax collection challenge.

A quarter of the UK workforce has been identified by a McKinsey report to be able to work just as effectively remotely 3-5 days per week (4). That’s a quarter of the workforce that could be recruited from anywhere. With one year’s experience of working remotely employers are now seeing increases in productivity from their remote workers compared to previous office levels of productivity (4). We are seeing a longer term move towards a more remote and internationalized workplace. This opens up huge potential for geographically widening the available talent pool. It also causes a taxation nightmare. 

The lack of standardised global taxation laws means tax and employment status in today’s world is both complex and difficult to regulate. To combat this, the previous onus on the individual to pay the right taxes to the right people, is being changed. The legal responsibility will be placed in the hands of the company. Companies will become legally responsible for correct taxation not just in their country of residence, but in the respective countries of their workers. Thus companies need to understand the laws and tax systems in multiple countries to comply with them, or risk fines and legal implications. These changes will impact tax payments for employees and contractors. 

Canada, Germany, and Italy are some of the first to start to readjust their tax legislation. In some instances these legislative changes are similar to the new UK IR35 legislation. In other instances the changes are quite different, such as a blanket tax.

The enormity of incorrect tax payments has been brought under the spotlight by high profile cases such as the Uber employment tribunal. GSK have also been highlighted as having thousands of contractors that will need to be considered employees from April, when the company will be legally responsible for paying tax directly to the government due to IR35. 

In the UK, business and financial services are a large share of the economy. The most notable sustainable remote working sectors are finance, scientific, and IT (4). These sectors are showing the largest long term move to a remote and internationalized workplace. As a result, these sectors will also see the biggest impact of complex global tax legislation.

Current approaches to payroll compliance are not kitted out for such a complex change. Neither internal payroll teams nor in-country tax specialists have the legal knowledge or the language capabilities to implement legally compliant payroll systems in an international workplace. They are not geared up to deal with this.

Outside specialist help will be critical for compliance. Experienced HR specialists that know the laws in the relevant countries will become essential. For example at Project Recruit, we have partnered with 32 accountancy firms in order to ensure the acquisition of such complex knowledge requirements. These firms provide global coverage of payroll legislation and systems. This allows our clients to comply with the laws now, and the laws as they change.

    1. The Guardian, 2020
    2. Business Insider, 2020 
    3. Migration Data Portal, 2021
    4. McKinsey, 2020
    5. PWC, 2021—next-steps.html
    6. BBC, 2020
    7. BBC, 2020
    8. Lewis Silkin, 2020

Queries or concerns about international payroll?

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Inspire the Next Generation of Talented Females

woman on mountain

Inspire the Next Generation of Talented Females

How sponsorship can reduce gender disparity and double the size of the talent pool in the technology sector.

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

Does the male dominance of high profile figures in technology such as Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos make the technology sector more appealing to men than women? Does the way we associate with the gender of high profile leaders have an impact on who we aspire to be? And in turn, reduce the number of women applying for technology roles?

Sponsoring women in technology is key to getting visible female leaders. These leaders have the ability to inspire the next generation of female talent. But, if we want to sponsor more talented women in technology, where do we find them?

The research in my last article on gender equality in technology showed that there is a higher probability of men receiving work related sponsorship than women. As a result, women are more likely to aim for careers in companies with high profile female leaders, where they can see career progression opportunities for themselves. Typically this means seeking careers outside the technology sector.

How do we get talented female leaders to inspire the next generation, if these women aren’t applying for technology roles? How do we encourage more female sponsorship in the workplace? And why are we not sponsoring the women we already have? Statistically speaking, if there are less women than men, then the probability of choosing a man for promotion is higher. But the numbers show a greater bias than statistical likelihood, with the majority of women being in entry level technology jobs. 

Research shows that we are more likely to sponsor and promote people with classically masculine attributes. See the research for this in my previous article.(1). And that these attributes can be used to successfully predict a person’s rise to leadership, but can not be used to predict the success of their performance as a leader. Research also shows that we favour people that remind us of ourselves. Neither of these biases help with our ability to choose the best person for a job. The Halo Effect (also known as the Halo Error) means that these biases make us more likely to assume intelligence in people fitting these preferred profiles. If people do not fit the preferred profile, they have to prove their talent more definitively to be seen as equally skilled.

Why do other sectors not seem to have the same level of gender bias? Why is technology so far behind on gender equality? If we want more talented women in technology we have to show them that it is possible for them to succeed. We need people of all genders in leadership to inspire the next generation. In turn, a more diverse leadership, allows less room for subconscious bias.

What can you do? If you are in a leadership position, next time you are looking to sponsor someone, consider your own biases. Consider sponsoring someone different to your usual profile. Perhaps even purposefully sponsor a talented woman to start breaking down the gender disparity. And whilst doing so, be aware that they will likely face sexism on this journey.

Research from Harvard Business Review showed that 44% of Senior Leaders agreed with the statement that ‘A female at my company would never get a top position no matter how able or high-performing’ (2). If half the people in the company think the woman you are sponsoring will not make it to a senior position, imagine the bias of ambitious people wanting to get to the top and how they might communicate with her differently to those that they think will get to the top. Just be aware of the day to day biases that will be faced, no matter how unintentional, and don’t let that stop you from sponsoring a woman. 

As an influential person leading us to the future of technology, it is in your power to make this change. To recognise the biases, to promote talented people of all genders. To empower people of all genders. You can change the statistics. 17% of people in technology are women and this number has been getting lower in the past year (1). If you want to see talented women in your company, you need to make the change.

Equally, if you are an ambitious woman, find yourself a mentor. Choose someone who sees and respects your talents and is keen to help you to achieve your goals. It doesn’t have to be someone in your company, it doesn’t have to be a woman. Find someone you respect and admire and ask! And check out PWC’s The Tech She Can® Charter.

Kamala Harris, America’s Vice President provided phenomenal strength to the 2020 US presidential campaign. She provided a younger, more vibrant personality. She was frightfully successful in political debates, as admitted by Joe Biden himself. She raised millions of dollars for political causes. She made a stand for transparency in leadership by making her tax returns publicly available. All these assets and actions gave the Democratic party strength. She also showed women, African Americans, Blacks, Asians, and Indians that they could succeed in American politics.

Sponsorship of the right woman can add strength to your leadership. By opening up to the other 50% of the population, you will double your talent pool. Show them they are welcome.

As a reminder of what is possible, here are just a few inspirational women working in technology today:

Joanna Shields, CEO of BenevolentAI: Uses AI to improve healthcare. US-born tech executive Joanna Shields is the CEO of BenevolentAI, a health-tech startup that aims to use AI to discover, test and ultimately develop new medicines.

Luciana Lixandru, Investor: Accel’s star young investor in London, helping start ups gain millions of pounds of funding (including Deliveroo).

Marta Krupinska, Entrepreneur: Marta set up a number of companies including being a cofounder of Azimo, the international money transfer platform which has raised $66 million to date. She is now helping Google champion new startups.

Bailey Kursar, Entrepreneur: Bailey puts ethics at the heart of money management. After cutting her teeth in marketing roles at the likes of Monzo, Zopa and Funding Options, entrepreneur Bailey Kursar decided to go it alone by founding Toucan, an ethically-minded money management app.

Safra A Catz, CEO of Oracle Corporation: Safra is an American billionaire banker and technology executive, now CEO of the Oracle Corporation.

Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of HCL Technologies: Roshni is the first woman to lead a listed IT company in India. In 2019, she is ranked 54th on the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list.

Wu Wei (Maggie Wu), CFO at Alibaba Group: Wu Wei is a Chinese business executive who is responsible for instituting’s financial systems and organisation leading up to its initial public offering in Hong Kong in November 2007, as well as co-leading the privatisation of in 2012.

Jennifer Morgan, an American technology executive: Jennifer is the first female chief executive of SAP, and she is the first female CEO of a company on the DAX index. She is the former Co-Chief Executive Officer at SAP SE. She became the first American woman ever appointed to the SAP executive board in 2017.

    1. Rose McCarter-Field, Why has gender equality not improved in the technology sector in the last ten years? And why is it now getting worse? 
    2. Harvard Business Review, What’s Holding Women Back
    3. Business Insider, UK Tech 100
    4. 10 Women in Tech Leaders You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
    5. Forbes, 50 Women Led Start Ups That Are Crushing Tech
    6. PWC, The Tech She Can 

Why has gender equality not improved in the technology sector in the last ten years? And why is it now getting worse?

woman in technology sector

Why has gender equality not improved in the technology sector in the last ten years?
And why is it now getting worse?

Technology is booming. Gender equality at an all time high. Why has gender disparity not improved in the technology sector in the last ten years? And why will there be further reductions of women in technology following the pandemic?

For the past decade women in technology have accounted for 17% of staff(3). While the world is improving it’s gender equality at work, more needs to be done to diversify the technology industry.

Rose McCarter-Field

By Rose McCarter-Field

In the UK alone, technology firms attract billions in venture capital funding every year. Technology is a fast growing innovative industry, continually creating new jobs and launching revolutionary products and services. Yet, while other industries across the world are improving their gender equality, at all levels, the technology industry seems to have stagnated. There has been no increase in female staff in the past 10 years.

The vast majority of job applicants in the technology sector are still male. Does part of the problem still start at school? Vanessa Vallely, founder of WeAreTechWomen, believes education is still a limiting factor in the connection between gender and the careers people aspire towards. Gender identity and how people identify careers that suit them, starts at a very young age. Even basic factors such as everyday language used to identify tasks as male or female have a significant influence on the roles people see themselves filling.

Perhaps the domination of male role models in technology is important? Mountain moving women such as Grace Hopper, The Queen of Code, have shown us that technology doesn’t have to be a man’s industry. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos are the technology leaders inspiring our generation. But people are inspired into action by those they can relate to. Is it easier for a man to see himself as Elon Musk than a woman? And are women more likely to go into an industry with female role models, that they can more easily relate to? 

Research by Harvard Business Review shows that another part of the challenge is women leaving the industry soon after joining. Women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) fields in the U.S. are 45% more likely to quit the industry within a year of starting than their male counterparts(5). The reasons for such a high rate of women leaving the industry so quickly is not certain. Though a lack of sponsorship from people in senior positions has been identified as one significant factor(3). Career progression is often accompanied by internal support and sponsorship is often triggered by a leader seeing something of themselves in a younger person. However, the people in senior positions are typically men. If they want gender equality, these leaders need to sponsor people of all genders to support their progression.

Overt misogyny is sadly still prevalent. There is also the less obvious and often unintentional day-to-day gender bias. Maddy Cross, talent director of Notion, which specialises in investing in technology businesses, thinks men in authority still have a huge role to play in changing attitudes and culture(3).“… micro-sexism happen[s] in business every day,” Cross says(3). Until there is gender equality in leadership, it will be difficult to break down cultures of sexism. And until gender equality is a reality in the workplace, it will be difficult to identify and confront sexist behaviours.

It may not just be externally imposed sexism in the workplace that is the cause of the gender disparity. Nicola Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer at MyTutor, has found that women in technology often won’t apply for a job if they don’t feel they have exactly the right experience(3). As a result, women are hesitating more than men to put themselves forward for promotion. This same self-hindering behaviour has been reported in other industries(11). Why are women more likely to hesitate? I do not believe it is a lack of ambition or determination. 

The Harvard Business Review’s report found a culture in SET that made women feel isolated. When 72% of SET women perceive a bias in performance evaluation, it is no surprise that they might hesitate to apply for promotion. Nearly one-third of senior leaders in the U.S. and more than half in China and India expressed a belief that a woman would never achieve a top position at their company, no matter how able or high-performing. 

chart showing data on women in tech

The 2020 TrustRadius Women in Tech Report included 600 tech professionals, including 270 women, 315 men, 5 non-binary respondents, and 6 respondents who chose to not identify their gender. The report found that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, women in technology are 1.6 times more likely to be laid off or furloughed than their male counterparts. This gender disparity has been identified as a consequence of women being more likely to hold entry level jobs and junior positions4. As a result, in the coming months, we could see the striking 83% male dominance of the technology sector increase even further. Furthermore, Stephen Rooney, Director of STEM Women, reports that diversity initiatives are being put on hold while companies respond to the pandemic.

chart showing data on women in tech

Despite the Equal Pay Act, the gender pay gap is a persistent issue. Glassdoor research in the U.S. shows women in the technology industry earning 94.6 cents for every dollar earned by a man(2). Whereas in Biotech and Pharmaceuticals women earn 97.8 cents for every dollar earned by a man. This is a challenge across all sectors and the technology sector comes below average, which is another deterring factor for women joining the industry.

In the 60s Dame Steve Shirley cheated the overt gender bias of her time. She was a coding legend and philanthropist who changed her name from ‘Stephanie’ to ‘Steve’ to aid her career. When she signed business letters as ‘Steve’ rather than ‘Stephanie’ she started to get responses and found trading was made possible. She hired hundreds of female programmers to work on projects such as programming the Concorde’s black box flight recorder, all under her adopted masculine name ‘Steve’. Though gender equality has improved greatly since the 60s, arguably not so much in the technology sector.

Harvard Business Review research shows that regardless of gender, behaving like a man is still beneficial in progressing one’s career in SET. Multiple studies show that classic male attributes such as a low voice, being tall, and having a symmetrical chiselled jaw are still an effective means to predict a person’s rise into a leadership position [examples: Business Insider(1) & Psychology Today(6)]. There is however no link between these attributes and predicting a person’s effectiveness as a leader.

chart showing data on women in tech

Our experiences tell us that a person in SET is more likely to be male and that someone with stereotypically masculine attributes is more likely to be promoted. Historically, the success of women in these fields has been shadowed by their male counterparts. Marie Curie’s first Nobel Prize nomination was initially awarded to her husband. Our experience makes it easier to instinctively imagine a successful male in these roles. Until gender equality becomes the norm, our inbuilt stereotypes and conscious or subconscious biases will not change. Until we have a real mix of types of people across all roles in the technology industry, breaking down current ‘masculine’ stereotypes, we can not break this inbuilt bias.

It is up to the leaders in technology to notice the extent of the gender equality in their company, to sponsor and promote skilled people of all genders. It is up to the leaders in technology to understand and breakdown their own biases towards stereotypically male behaviours. We need to see people of all genders excelling, with their own personalities, not having to become masculine to succeed. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg “I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the supreme court] and I say, ‘when there are nine,’ people are shocked. But they’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”

As a reminder of what is possible, here are just a few inspirational women that have changed history:

Jane Goodall: Jane’s research in chimpanzees triggered a redefinition of the term ‘human’.

Florence Nightingale: A pioneer in data visualisation with the use of infographics, effectively using graphical presentations of statistical data. As well as being “The Lady with the Lamp”.

Margaret Hamilton: An American computer scientist, systems engineer, and business owner. She was director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, which developed on-board flight software for NASA’s Apollo program.

Sally Ride: An American astronaut and physicist. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983.

Grace Hopper: “The Queen of Code” An American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first linkers.

Valentina Tereshkova: Engineer and former cosmonaut. The first and youngest woman to have flown in space with a solo mission on the Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963.

Mae Jemison: An American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Dame Stephanie “Steve” Shirley: IT pioneer, businesswoman and philanthropist. Steve founded the Xansa plc software company, who hired hundreds of female programmers.

    1. Business Insider 2014
    2. Glassdoor 2019 
    3. Guardian 2020 
    4. Guardian 2020
    5. Harvard Business Review 2014 
    6. Phycology Today 2017 
    7. STEMWOMEN 2021
    8. TrustRadius Report 2020
    9. TrustRadius Report update 2020 (post COVID) –
    10. WeAreTechWomen 2020 
    11. Women and Higher Education Leadership 2013