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how to attract more female candidates to your business: a complete guide incl. whitepaper

Updated: Aug 21, 2022

It is now more important than ever to make sure that your business has an inclusive approach to hiring. Research shows that increased gender diversity in both the workplace and in leadership positions is financially beneficial to the company. It also boosts employee morale, increases productivity and the number of creative solutions to problems.

In this complete guide of how to attract more female employees to your business, we will go through the different stages needed to make sure that women will WANT to work for you!

Keep reading for our downloadable whitepaper to make sure that your approach to hiring is inclusive.

table of contents

  1. what is gender diversity?

  2. why is gender diversity important for your company?

  3. how to attract female employees to your company

    1. reflect upon internal steps to take

    2. facilitate your female employees’ needs

    3. show how you support your female employees

    4. establish gender diversity KPI goals

    5. use gender-neutral wording

    6. spread the word to more women

what is gender diversity?

Gender diversity is the equitable and fair representation of all genders in the workplace.

Gender equality is when people of all genders have equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities.

Gender inclusivity is when all services, opportunities, and businesses are open to all people regardless of gender or societal norms.

why is gender diversity important for your company?

Companies need to note that they should be striving for total equality in the workplace, for everyone’s benefit. Through having gender diversity in the workplace, it sets the precedent for your company. Gender diversity, gender equality, and gender inclusivity send an industry message about your company - a wholly positive one at that. Not only will gender diversity help your company possess a competitive advantage, but also reap the benefits of having women in their workforce and in leadership positions.

As stated by Harvard Business Review, there are numerous reasons why having diversity and inclusion being a core part of your business is advantageous. These reasons will not only help your company to succeed but also create a positive and productive working environment. These reasons include:

  • greater innovation and creativity

  • a broader range of skills

  • increase in job offer acceptances

  • happier employees

  • increased productivity

  • improved ability to understand your customers

  • higher revenues for your business

how to attract female employees to your company

1. reflect upon internal steps to take within the business

Before embarking on the journey of attracting more female employees to your business, it is important to reflect upon your business practices. There are some key aspects to look out for here:

  • is your brand image inclusive of female employees?

  • do you use gender-inclusive language within your business and externally to the public?

  • do you prioritise diversity and inclusion throughout your business practices by setting diversity goals?

  • are you really supportive of women in leadership positions?

  • do you, as a company, take the time to support, and celebrate your female employees?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then great! You are already on the right track to becoming a company that women want to work at!

If not, it is important to take note of these questions, reflect upon them and see how you can begin to change and adjust your existing business practices to become more attractive to female employees. This is to facilitate the creation of a positive and understanding work culture for your employees. Through having a strong and supportive work culture, it will help clear the way for the transition of the changes to company practices.

2. facilitate your female employees’ needs

Once you have identified where your company could adjust its business practices so that it may become more attractive for female employees, it is then important to note the type of work you are advertising. Often, especially after Covid-19, female employees would prefer to work from home and have flexible working hours. Through facilitating various options it shows potential employees that your company is actively inclusive and considerate of the needs of all employees.

female leaders survey results including leadership, mentoring, equal opportunities and equal pay

It is important to note the benefits which female employees value, as opposed to male employees. As these often differ, it is crucial that your business tailor your benefits offered to the employee who is applying for the position. As noted by Harvard Business Review, men and women have different priorities when it comes to job benefits. To maximise your company's attractiveness to female employees, you should consider offering more women-focused benefits as part of the job description.

By committing to actively changing your company practices, offering more working scenarios, and diverse benefits, your company is not only contributing to becoming a more inclusive workplace for their employees but also helping to change the industry standard of what it means to be gender diverse.

3. show how you support your female employees

It is important to show how your company supports women, in all areas of the organisation. Through employing women in leadership positions within your company it sets the precedent that your company supports and actively employs female employees in high power positions. This then shows potential female employees that there are possibilities present to further their career in the company and can contribute to why they would choose to work for your company over others.

Your company can engage in showing support in a number of ways. One of the most effective ways is to start a mentoring program or women’s network or engage with an existing program. This shows a clear commitment to progressing your female employees’ careers within the company. Having role models for your female employees encourages them to stay with the company as you are fostering an environment of growth and development.

4. establish gender diversity KPI goals

When you have identified and employed methods that show how your company supports women, it is important to then focus on your employer branding. This encompasses what your company wants to focus on to attract, recruit and retain. It is important to identify what your KPIs (key performance indicators) are and to focus on adjusting your business strategy so that you can align with those. This stage is particularly important as it identifies your business in the industry and it can hold influence when attempting to become more diverse and inclusive.

At the female factor, we would recommend that you try to choose tangible and achievable KPIs when first venturing into becoming more diverse. Feeling the need for some inspiration? Some KPIs include:

  • percentage of female applicants per year

  • percentage of female applicants per job posting

  • employee satisfaction score among female employees (NPS)

  • employee referral score among female employees

To further measure your employer brand we suggest using the following KPIs:

  • clicks on job advertisements

  • time-to-hire

5. use gender-neutral wording in your business

Once you have analysed how your business operates and have made the changes necessary in terms of employer branding and implementing tangible KPIs to fulfil your diversity goals, it is important to also look at how you advertise positions in your business. The key here is gender-neutral wording. What is gender-neutral wording? Well, it is when the job post removes all possible bias by using inclusive and non-binary words. For example, instead of saying “he or she” use “they or you”.

The same applies to the position which you are advertising. It focuses purely on the title of the job and the key tangible skills and attributes that candidates should possess. Replace “Looking for a dominant rockstar to become the next courageous project leader” with “Hiring opportunity for an experienced person to become our next project leader”. Our top gender-neutral words include:

  • businessperson replacing businessman/woman

  • passionate replacing driven

  • results-orientated replacing competitive

  • professional replacing expert

  • honest replacing outspoken

6. spread the word to more women

Perhaps the most important aspect is that your company is able to reach potential female employees. Having adjusted your KPIs and changed the wording on your job description to be more inclusive, it is then vital that you advertise to women. You must ensure that your job postings reach women who could potentially work for your company. To do so, try to leverage your own employees and existing networks of female employees and partners to advertise your positions. It is extremely beneficial to partner with female-centric organisations, like the female factor, to help spread the word of your available positions to women who could become a valuable part of your organisation.

female candidates discovering how diversity and inclusion can help empower

Through engaging with female centric organisations, not only is your company able to reach a pool of talented female candidates, but also benefit from other services on offer, By looking outside of your company, it is possible to reach your diversity ratios faster, come into contact with a specific, skilled team to fulfill your needs, and ensure that your company is actively supporting women in the workplace.

Do you need extra support? We’d be happy to assist you in increasing the number of female applicants to your job postings and to help you reach more women. If you need to meet specific hiring requirements for certain positions, consider talent scouting services or headhunters so that you can actively and efficiently meet your requirements for that position.

Are you ready to go on this diversity journey? Download our free white paper on "how to attract female employees" including a checklist for your business.


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