How Women Can Support Women in the Recruitment Industry
March is Women’s History Month in the US, the UK, and Australia. It’s a great time to take a moment and celebrate the contributions women have made to their countries and recognize the specific achievements they have made over the course of history in a variety of fields.
Over the last several years, women have had a profound effect on the recruitment industry, but there’s still a lot to be done to improve gender diversity and equality in the sector. Women have a particularly important role to play in breaking down stereotypes, making their workplaces more inclusive, and empowering other women. This Women’s History Month, here’s how you can commit to supporting other women to be all that they can be and rise to the top in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
Women in Recruitment
The recruitment industry has come a long way with gender equality. While it was once perceived as a more male-oriented industry, gender roles in recruitment are now far more balanced and equal. In fact, a 2020 analysis discovered that 41% of the workforce at the recruiter level is female. However, only 31% of companies have initiatives in place specifically to retain female talent. And while there have been improvements over the years, the same 2020 analysis of recruitment firms across the UK, EMEA, APAC, and the US found that only 26% of recruitment firm directors were female, highlighting a significant gender imbalance at the top. These statistics clearly indicate that there’s still much left to do for women in the industry.
What can be done? By guiding inclusion and diversity within their own firms, as well as encourage their agencies to attract more diverse talent for clients, female leaders can lead by example and create more inclusive workforces.
The Benefits of Supporting Female Talent
The business case for gender equality in the recruitment sector (and all industries) is strong.
Statistics indicate that women in the workforce:
- Have a positive impact on profits: Company profits and share performance can be close to 50% higher when women are well-represented at the leadership level.
- Increase productivity: Women are 10 percent more productive than their male counterparts in today’s offices.
- Improve a company’s ability to attract more top women to the organization: Culture plays a significant role in a candidate’s decision to work for a company. Gender balance and an empowering environment can attract more top women to an organization.
- Drive innovation: In a highly competitive climate, innovation is key to success. Gender diversity leads to diversity in opinions, ideas, and values, which drives innovation.
- Close the skills gap: When a company closes the gender gap, it can also close the skills gap by having a balanced workforce with varied skills and experience.
How Women Can Support Women in the Sector
We know there could be more female recruiters and leaders in the recruitment industry, and we also know that prioritizing gender equality can bring forth many benefits for your recruitment firm. As a woman in the sector, how can you support and empower other women? How can you support gender equality? Even minor changes can have a lasting impression.
Here are some small, and big, ways you can contribute:
Create a respectful and empowering environment: Everyone can help create an environment that respects all genders. A diverse and inclusive environment can help women get back into the workforce, enter the traditionally male-dominated recruitment sector with ease, and open the door to learning new skills. A positive, empowering work environment can also help new female recruiters in the industry gain the confidence they need to take that next career leap.
Say no to the gender pay gap: Stand up for equal pay for yourself and other women.
Provide opportunities for movement into leadership roles: If you’re a female leader in recruitment, you have an excellent opportunity to help other women excel. For example, consider adding family-friendly allowances for flexible work for those with caregiving commitments.
Lead by example: Start your own women-led recruitment agency! If you’re experienced and connected, take a chance and believe in yourself and your abilities by starting your own firm. Through your success, you’ll be a positive role model for other women in the industry. If you’re considering this career path, here are the top industries poised for growth.
Connect with other women in your firm: Together, women can do more to empower each other and make a positive impact on their firm and in the sector. Start a formal or informal support group where everyone can feel like she belongs and no one feels isolated.
Consider mentoring a female recruiter: It’s empowering for women to be around other successful and high-achieving women, especially within a traditionally male-dominated industry. If you’re at the top, this is an excellent way to give back.
Recognize achievements: Women often feel like they must work harder to be seen and recognized at work. Recognizing both small and large achievements frequently can help ensure women in the industry are more likely to stay in their roles and feel job satisfaction from their careers.
While Women’s History Month is a good time to celebrate and recognize women in the industry, empowering women and embracing gender equality should be a daily goal. Even small efforts and changes can lead to big results, and it starts with you.