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how to be (un)attractive to female employees as an employer

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

Discover what female professionals value most when it comes to potential employers. As part of our HR roundtables we discussed survey results with leading HR professionals. Learn more about their insights.

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It is now common knowledge that the war for talents is not just about the monthly paycheck. There are also a number of “soft” factors, especially in combination with the company’s culture and the way team members are dealt with. The goal here is also to create an environment that is attractive not only for certain groups but for everyone. According to numerous studies, diversity in the team is a key factor for company success.

With a question and answer session among female executives, we aimed to discover which factors are explicitly important for female professionals, and which are discouraging.

what female professionals want

“Both through our cooperation with leading companies and our large-scale surveys, we recognize that the following points are particularly important to women: flexibility, and at the same time compatibility of career and private life, opportunities for advancement and further development as well as networking opportunities in the form of mentoring programs, workshops, internal networks, etc.”, explains Mahdis Gharaei, co-founder of the female factor. "Female managers and progressive leadership styles in the company also contribute to the employer's attractiveness," she adds.

COO of ARTUS tax consultancy, Simone Gerner, also sees the topic of flexibility - combined with the option of working part-time as a manager - as the most important factor for female managers. For her, what counts above all is a collegial work environment and appreciation, although she admits: "But I think that applies not only to women but to everyone in business life".

For Ciara Drechsler, HR Manager of WALTER GROUP, the focus is on "role models in the company, career and further training opportunities as well as a family-friendly environment".

Nina Aichinger, Head of HR at Bitpanda, sees the need for a “secure job with prospects for a career and a balance between work and family” in the foreground.

Viviane Shklarek, head of Marketing & Communications Austria and a member of the management board at Philip Morris Austria, sees kept promises regarding employer branding, flexible structures, and an appreciative corporate culture as key concepts in the issue.

...and what they don't want

What is particularly off-putting for female professionals?

For Shklarek it is “rigid, dusty organizational structures with strong hierarchies” and consequently a lack of equal communication on an equal footing.

For Nina Aichinger, it is above all "discrimination, a lack of diversity and transparency with regard to decisions".

Mahdis Gharaei sees it similarly, the lack of “transparency, equality and an inclusive organizational culture” are potentially the most daunting factors for female professionals. For Ciara Drechsler "discrimination, bad image, and injustice" are an absolute no-go.

Finally, Nadine Waser-Zeiss from TeamEcho explains, “companies that have an unpleasant working atmosphere, that offer little meaningful work, and that do not allow a suitable balance between work and leisure tend to appear less attractive to women. This can also be seen from numerous scientific studies.”

This article was published by derBrutkasten in March 2021 and was translated from German.


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