Discrimination Starts in Recruiting

By Vira Trevino-Garcia

Gender biases in recruiting have always been in existence. Unconscious biases can be hard to break, especially when we don’t realize we have them. The data proves that recruiters choose male candidates over female candidates, even when the recruiters are women. The recruiting team can play a role in improving gender equality in recruitment and pave the way for an unbiased hiring process.

Some things that recruiting and hiring teams can do to help mitigate gender inequality include:

  • Check your job postings for gender coding. Words such as ‘competitive’, ‘ambitious’, and ‘strong’ are male coded and discourage female applicants. There are several free online gender decoder tools where you can add your job posting and it will give you an assessment of the gender coding of your posting.
  • Flexibility gives working mothers the support they need to look after their family. Remote work, flexible hours, even flexible options for interview times can all make a difference.
  • Many women had to take time away from work to care for their families during the pandemic. Don’t discount candidates that have not been employed over the last year and a half.
  • Have all members of your hiring process participate in unconscious bias training.
  • Discuss your support of current employees during the interview process. Learning that a company is genuinely flexible, understanding, and supportive of women is a very appealing benefit.

Although the pandemic may have stalled some progress toward gender equality, it’s possible to correct and create an environment where women can fulfill their potential.