You might have heard a lot about the gender pay gap, but it is not the only gap that exists in the workplace. There is another gap that is nearly as important, though much less discussed: the network gap. For women, a weaker network means less access to job opportunities. For employers, it means they are missing some of the best candidates who have the right skills but lack the right connections.
According to a LinkedIn survey, a weaker network means less access to job opportunities. The survey shows that the gender network gap holds true across virtually every country with 14 percent to 38 percent of women globally having less likely strong networking in both large and diverse organizations. In the APAC region, ACDP reported that women’s labor force participation has stalled, and in South Asia, it has actually decreased over the last decade. This means women are mostly concentrated in informal jobs and bear the majority of unpaid care responsibilities. Again, the lack of networking opportunities for women limits their career path.
To celebrate #IWD2022, HR in Asia is publishing a series of articles discussing women’s achievements and challenges in the workplace. And today, we’ll go through some tips on how business leaders can address the gender network gap. Read on…
Referrals are one of the most effective recruitment methods since they rely entirely on people’s personal networks. However, it is duly noted that personal recommendations may benefit men over women. White men, more than any other category, are more likely to profit from referral programs, according to a Payscale study. Holding all else equal, women of color fare the worst and are 35% less likely to receive a referral. These findings suggest that referral programs should not be the main source of new recruits, as this usually creates a homogenous work environment. As a leader, ensure that talent diversity is taken into account if you run employee referrals in your hiring strategy, as having a diverse workforce will nurture innovation in your organization.
Terms and words you write in job descriptions and job posts matter since they can be too gendered at times. Sometimes, using gendered language can dissuade talents from applying. Gendered job descriptions may not appear too blatantly like writing “male-only” as one of the characteristics. A study shows that terms like “competition,” “dominant,” and “leader” are connected with male-coded employment, whereas words like “support,” “understand,” and “interpersonal” are related to female-coded work. It is best to first acknowledge then avoid using terms that discourage women from applying to a certain job.
To avoid writing a gendered job description, here are some things to consider:
The gender of the individual you are planning to recruit can be predicted by gender language bias in your job posting. If you are serious about creating diversity and not excluding women to apply to a job opening in your company, it is time to avoid gendered terms. Using tools will help you identify trouble areas in your word selections and catch anything you may have overlooked, such as pronouns, adjectives, and verbs. Here are some helpful apps you can use:
Having women be involved equally as men do in the workplace is about giving women equal opportunities to everything, including network. The road to workplace equality and allowing women to expand their network is one of the things employers can do to support inclusivity towards everyone.