Many workplaces proclaim their desire for diversity and creating an inclusive environment regardless of gender, but tend to wind up hiring candidates that are similar to their existing workforce. Often this isn’t intentional but is due to unconscious bias or because their company reputation or hiring practices don’t feel welcoming to women professionals. Fortunately, candidates can be part of the solution – learn more about how to bridge the gender gap when job searching:
Utilize Your Network to Get Referrals
Perhaps the best way of getting around any potential barriers, including issues with gender gaps, during the hiring process is to have someone personally refer you to an organization’s hiring manager. Utilize your network to see if you have any connections who could vouch for you for available jobs and whose opinion would be highly valued by hiring managers. Being able to sidestep the standard application, or get special attention paid to your resume, makes you more likely to be considered.
Highlight Your Productivity and Performance
Bridge a gender gap by making the hiring decision as objective as possible for hiring managers. On your resume and in interviews, be prepared to highlight your productivity and performance and share the results you’ve achieved throughout your career. Metrics can ensure you are presenting yourself as the most qualified candidate and prevent unconscious bias or preconceived notions from costing you opportunities that in which you would excel.
Negotiate for Needed Flexibility
Often women self-select out of male-dominated fields because they assume the jobs won’t offer the flexibility they may need for their work-life balance, especially regarding children. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for any flexibility you need, such as setting your schedule or working from home occasionally, as part of your compensation package. Employers are often willing to provide this, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Work with a Recruiter
If you’re having not having success finding jobs with companies that are male-dominated and can’t seem to bridge the gender gap on your own, consider working with a professional recruiter. They will have the inside knowledge on what companies are proactively trying to improve their diversity and can connect you with opportunities to pursue that you may have otherwise not found.
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