Pursuing gender-balance in attracting and recruiting talent
The National 2017 Group
Male Champions of Change aim to achieve gender equality and accelerate the advancement of more women into leadership positions. We strive for gender balance at all levels of our organisations. This commitment is grounded in a core belief that to reap the diversity dividend, we must tap into the full available talent pool.
Without removing barriers to entry for women we risk missing out on the best candidates. In pursuing gender-balance in attracting and recruiting talent we must understand and remove conscious and unconscious biases that may exist recruitment, development and promotion decisions.
Internal investigations by some organisations in the MCC National Est. 2017 Group found there were barriers to women in recruitment processes. Particularly to non-traditional female positions and senior roles. We need to actively attract, interview and recruit more women to broaden the talent pool.
BASF case study: Proactive sourcing
What we heard: We needed to increase the number of women interviewed and recruited. Particularly to non-traditional female positions and senior roles.
Action taken: A new approach to ‘proactive sourcing’ has enabled BASF to significantly increase the number of women interviewed and appointed. This included 2 senior STEM roles. The approach included mapping of potential women talent using channels such as LinkedIn, SEEK Talent Search; as well as database searches from previous women candidates.
For every role advertised, BASF appoints a Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador. The Ambassador is available to assist the hiring manager in defining the job role and designing the advertisement in a way that is appealing to both men and women. They focus on competencies and potential rather than just industry experience. Diversity and Inclusion Ambassadors also strongly encourage hiring managers to achieve gender balanced shortlists and interviews.
Impact: There is a commitment and understanding across the organisation that the new approach is right for the business. It has created larger talent pools and resulted in the placement of women into roles traditionally performed by men. Hiring Managers are starting to change their focus from ‘experience’ to ‘potential’.
From 2018 to 2019 BASF saw a positive shift in the ratio of women recruited into their organisation. The percentage of women within BASF increased by 5% from 23% to 28%. This is the first time for this shift in 10 years.
Success stories of women hires throughout 2018 and 2019 into non-traditional female positions has encouraged hiring managers to be more open minded. As a result, BASF’s gender hiring ratio for external hires in 2018 and internal hires in 2019 were 50/50, meeting their hiring target. In 2019 applications received by BASF were 75% male and 25% female, but through BASF’s selection process the hiring split was 61% male and 39% female. The results for the first half of 2020 has continued the gender hiring ratio of 50/50 for all roles.
Transdev case study: Journey Makers – New employee value proposition (EVP)
What we heard: There was a need to attract more women to the transport industry in order to recruit and benefit from a broader talent pool at Transdev.
Action taken: Transdev developed a new employee value proposition (EVP) branded “Journey Makers”. It featured culturally and gender diverse employees, sharing personal stories. They shared why they joined Transdev and what they love about working in the transport industry.
To encourage a broader talent pool, Transdev regularly opens its depots and stations to the general public. They invite prospective new recruits to experience the environment, meet the team and ask any questions about working in the industry and at Transdev.
Impact: With the introduction of the Journey Maker EVP, the Transdev brand has grown significantly; not only with operational applicants but also graduates, senior level and executive talent. Transdev regularly sees increased engagement through social media channels specifically LinkedIn. This EVP continued to attract new people into the industry and to Transdev; who had never considered a career in public transport. Transdev has seen applications and placements of women and diverse candidates increase to 10% due to the EVP. It also measures engagement through the EVP and ask employees if they consider themselves a Journey Maker; the most recent result showed 75% positive responses.
Transdev has learned to ensure their EVP represents the voice of our people and highlights the diversity of our staff. Transdev also learned that it is imperative to be authentic in the EVP communications and that the brand must resonate with their people for it to be credibly received externally.
Cummins case study: Targeted advertising
What we heard: There is intense competition for talent within the industrial space. An area of focus for Cummins to bring about desired change has been to increase the number of women participants across its Apprenticeships.
Action taken: The Cummins South Pacific Apprentice Program Management Team has been encouraging diverse applications into their Apprenticeship streams. These streams include; Mechanical (Heavy Diesel), Electrical and Parts.
Initiatives that have been leveraged to bring about the change include; multimedia promotions, targeted advertising, partnering with Cummins TEC (Technical Education for Communities project), Cummins Powers Women, Girls Academy, local schools, local TAFE’s, Women In Trades networks and S.A.L.T (Supporting And Linking Tradeswomen). Cummins also run successful Women in Automotive events at their capital city Branches for year 10,11 and 12 female school students.
Impact: As part of the 2019 intake Cummins achieved 18% women participation across the program (56 roles). This result was slightly off the target of 25% but significantly over the national average of 2.5% (in Automotive trades). Although there is a relatively lower number of positions available in both Parts and Electrical, the gender-diversity has increased rapidly year on year.
Although Cummins has made significant gains in recent times, they feel more needs to be done. As such, the Apprentice Program Management Team identified the need to increase marketing efforts. This included women apprentice “My Story” interviews, shared on social media platforms such as Instagram.
Cummins continue to strengthen industry ties with organisations such as S.A.L.T and Trades Women Australia and have been rewarded for these efforts by being awarded the 2019 S.A.L.T Employer Award for efforts towards gender diversity.
Aggreko case study: Attracting Female apprentices
What we heard: Building an inclusive organisation is the most effective approach to ensuring all employees can fulfil their potential. Aggreko has always had a strong family ethos, but recognises that to continue excelling through the energy transition, more collaboration and an inclusive culture is key. Aggreko has an active diversity and inclusion agenda and recognised that the first step on the journey is to recruit more women to all areas of the business where they are underrepresented, and that it would need to improve recruitment practices to attract diverse talent.
Action taken: The AusPac region of Aggreko set out to increase the female representation of their Technician workforce by actively sourcing female candidates. With women representing less than 2% of electrical and mechanical tradespeople in Australia, this proved to be difficult. Aggreko then turned to apprentices, with the aim of “growing their own” Technicians. Building relationships with Northern Territory TAFE, Australian Industries Group and Skills NZ has resulted in a 40% increase in female representation across Aggreko’s Apprenticeship group.
Impact: Through this initiative Aggreko has seen an improvement in the gender-balance of apprentice applications across the region. Successful female applicants have excelled in the apprenticeship program, bringing diverse and new thinking to the team.
We have identified practical actions to interrupt bias when attracting, recruiting and retaining the best candidates in the 40:40:20 For gender balance – Interrupting bias in your talent processes toolkit. The toolkit details lessons learnt from in-depth reviews of recruitment, promotion and talent processes and for leaders to adopt or adapt for use in their organisation.