Do you look around and see only or mostly men on your board? On your leadership team? Do you ask yourself, why? Maybe you have already searched for the right women for these positions and just haven’t found the right people yet?
What do you think would inspire women to join your leadership team? To join your company? So that you become the employer of choice for talented female leaders.
Perhaps you are finding it difficult to find women in your industry with previous leadership experience? This is a vicious cycle. Some companies have taken on an apprenticeship approach to find skilled women and build up their leadership skills prior to them fully taking on a new role. In the same way that some governments such as Saudi Arabia are funding female run start-ups, companies are investing in training and apprenticeship programmes to tackle the challenge of equality in leadership. These women can then become figureheads for your company, in turn attracting more women to your company and helping you to equal out the gender balance.
How do you choose your shortlisting criteria for jobs and promotions? Are they written by men? Could they contain unintentional biases? One way round this is to get a diverse group of people involved in writing job descriptions and involved in the shortlisting. This helps to provide a wider perspective on the skills, experiences, and personality types appropriate for a role.
You could even specifically target women in your internal and external job advertising. Simple factors such as the imagery and wording that you use, can make a job advert appear less bias towards men. For help on this, ask us how!
If you want to become an employer of choice for women in your industry, you need to visibly be attracting them. The talent is out there. You need to position yourself in such a manner that draws them to your company. Visible female leaders will help, so will reflecting on the unintentional internal biases that are likely to be present in your workplace. For more information on this see our article on 3 Tell Tale Signs of Unintentional Gender Bias.