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How to attract more female talent to your company

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The gender gap in the workplace has long been a contentious topic. And despite progress in recent years, women are underrepresented in many industries, and among full-time employees, the gender pay gap still sits at more than 8%.  

Employers are recognising the need for a diverse and inclusive workforce. Studies have shown that companies with more women in leadership positions tend to be more profitable and innovative. Additionally, gender diversity can lead to better decision-making, increased employee engagement, and improved company culture. Yet, attracting top female talent remains a challenge for many companies.

So, what steps can businesses take to ensure that they are workplaces that women want to work for? And how can employers showcase what they have to offer in a way that grabs attention?

 In this article, we will explore how to attract female talent to your company through changes to internal policies and processes, and well-considered talent acquisition strategies.

1. Understand the needs and preferences of female job seekers

To attract top female talent, it is important to understand who they are and what they want. However, don’t assume that all women are the same; recognise the diversity among women and tailor your recruitment strategies accordingly.

According to research, 62% of women are looking for a better work-life balance in their careers, with 59% saying that this was a more important factor than a role’s salary. Diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) are also extremely important to female employees. Women are 1.5 times more likely than men to leave their current workplace for one that is more committed to DEI.

2. Address unconscious bias in the recruitment process

Research has shown that wording in job advertisements, especially those that conform to gender stereotypes, can reduce how likely it is for female job seekers to apply as they struggle to feel a sense of belongingness. Moreover, it also revealed that typically male-dominated industries tend to use a higher proportion of masculine phrases such as ‘competitive’ and ‘dominant’.

You can address such unconscious biases by using gender-neutral wording throughout your recruitment materials. However, don’t overlook your wider company presence, such as your website and social media marketing too. By being more conscientious of your content, you can ensure that women react positively to your company and can identify themselves as the type of candidate you’re looking for.

Men are more likely to exaggerate their past performance whereas women do the opposite. Therefore, tweaking your interview process can give female candidates adequate opportunities to showcase their experience and accomplishments. For example, a scored assessment can make it clear whether candidates have the desired skills for a role and remove interviewer bias.

3. Create a company culture that values and appeals to women

Creating a company culture that appeals to women requires a commitment from top leadership. It is important to foster a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion. This can be achieved through policies and practices that support flexible work arrangements, professional development, and work-life balance.

In addition to policies and practices, it is important to foster a culture that values and respects the contributions of women. This can be achieved through such initiatives as leadership training that addresses unconscious bias, mentoring programs that pair women with senior leaders, and employee resource groups that provide support and networking opportunities for women.

4. Offer flexible working arrangements

Flexible work arrangements are highly valued by women and can be an effective strategy for attracting top female talent. Offering flexibility is a clear indicator that you place importance on the work-life balance of your employees and that you are a family-friendly workplace.

Plus, women who have a choice about their working arrangements experience less burnout, are happier in their jobs and are significantly less likely to consider leaving their current employer

Flexible work arrangements can include remote working, compressed hours, and part-time work. These arrangements allow women to balance their work and personal responsibilities and can lead to increased job satisfaction and productivity.

5. Implement inclusive employee benefits

Employee benefits can help you to attract a diverse range of female candidates. But when we speak of employee benefits, we don’t just mean the commonplace offerings such as bonuses and subsidised gym memberships. Instead, we are referring to employee benefits that understand and cater to differences that employees have and the hardships that females can face.

For example, menopause and menstrual benefits accommodate those who experience uncomfortable, and sometimes debilitating side effects Whilst fertility benefits promote equity, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or race. This is particularly important given that Women of Colour attempt to conceive longer than their white peers before seeking treatment and experience more barriers to fertility assistance. Find out more about Apryl’s fertility benefits for employees and how they can make you a more inclusive employer.

6. Provide opportunities for growth and development

Providing opportunities for professional growth and development should be a mainstay of your business for all employees but is an important factor for attracting top female talent. Women leaders are as likely as men to aspire to reach senior roles yet often experience microaggressions that undermine their authority and indicate they’ll face more barriers to promotion. For example, women are far more likely to have colleagues insinuate they are underqualified and are twice as likely as men to be mistaken for a more junior employee.

Ultimately, women want to work for companies that invest in their employees’ development and provide opportunities for career advancement for all. This can include mentoring schemes, leadership training, further education, and job rotation programs.

7. Utilise diverse recruitment channels

Recruitment channels should be a key consideration when it comes to how to attract female talent to your company. There are so many ways to advertise roles such as job boards, professional associations, and social media platforms but you need to pay attention to their user bases.

To find a wealth of skilled female applicants, it can be beneficial to focus your recruiting efforts within the spaces where women reside. For example, you could research local women’s organisations or seek out female professionals’ groups on social media.

8. Highlight female success stories

Highlighting female success stories within the company can be an effective strategy for attracting top female talent. Women want to work for companies that value their contributions and provide opportunities for career advancement. Highlighting female success stories can also help to dispel the myth that certain industries are male-dominated and not welcoming to women.

9. Partner with organisations that support women in the workplace

Partnering with organisations that support women in the workplace is another great method for attracting female talent. This includes organisations that promote diversity and inclusion, women’s leadership organisations, and advocacy groups that support women in their career development.

10. Measure and evaluate your recruitment efforts

To establish whether your recruitment strategies are working, you need to routinely measure their outcomes and evaluate their success. This can include tracking the number of female applicants, hires, and promotions, as well as conducting surveys to gather feedback from female employees. This data can help you identify areas for improvement and necessary adjustments, thus further contributing to DEI in the workplace.

Find out more on how companies are using fertility benefits to attract top talent. If you’d like to learn about how you can join them and become a more inclusive employer, then get in touch with our friendly team at Apryl.

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