5 Ways to Improve Gender Diversity When Recruiting

Gender diversity should be commonplace nowadays, and yet it still is not.

It isn’t always easy to naturally get the right mix of males and females in a workplace without the right steps being in place.

According to Gender Insights Report, women are just as open to new opportunities as men and also see the new job ads posted, but the latter is more likely to take action.

Interestingly, LinkedIn’s studies reveal that women are 16% less likely to apply for a job that they’ve viewed than a man.

This is usually because they don’t feel like they’re 100% qualified for the role.

And to make matters worse, a woman’s chances of being hired are essentially zero if she’s shortlisted for a role.

With this in mind, it’s vital that businesses like yours start addressing these problems and ensure that there’s a healthy gender balance within the workplace.

The best place to start is your recruitment pipeline.

By focusing on the foundation of your process, you’ll be able to start your next recruitment campaign on the right foot.

Carry out an analysis

Before you start making wholesale changes to your hiring process, it’s always useful to take stock of what employees you already have.

Analyse your company’s data to see what the gender split is in each department and level of seniority.

For instance, if you have a lot of male marketing managers, it might be worth pushing for a female addition in that particular role and level of responsibility.

If this sounds like a ball ache, you can always use LinkedIn Talent Insights.

It allows you to breakdown your employees in a matter of seconds.

Work on your brand

Further research from the Gender Insight Report found that men and women are almost equally likely to do some research on your company’s culture before applying.

This means it’s essential that you’re painting the right image via your branding.

This includes everything from what you post on social media to your ‘Meet the team’ section on your website.

Have you got inspiring videos on your website or social media that show an equal balance of men and women?

Are there plenty of female senior members of staff featured in PR pieces and blogs?

Your brand will say a lot about your company and what it believes in.

Get it right and you’ll have a great mix of male and female candidates applying for your vacancies.

Perfect your job advert

Creating a positive brand image also comes down to the way you portray your company in your job adverts too.

For example, using words like ‘outspoken’ and ‘rock star’ have masculine connotations, so it could put some women off from applying.

Always make sure you read through your job advert multiple times before posting.

However, if you want to be extra careful, software like Textio can help you highlight gender-specific words in a matter of seconds.

The job requirement section is another vital element of the advert too as some women feel like they need more qualifications than men to have a realistic chance of getting the job.

So, you should think carefully about what skills are “essential” and just “nice to have”.

Detailed seniority requirements can also put off some females from applying, as there’s a representation shortage at a C-suite level at the moment.

As a solution, simply list what daily tasks are required for the role. Female candidates can then decide whether they are qualified or not based on the job essentials and not a title.

Don’t forget, if you want to create an effective gender equality friendly advert, you still need to master the basics.  

This includes:

  • Keeping your paragraphs and sentences short for clarity
  • Removing any jargon or gender-coded words
  • Adding plenty of keywords to make your advert more searchable via Google and on job boards
  • Making the job description about the candidate and not solely about your company
  • Avoiding any negative language like “need not apply” or “only apply if”

Include salary and perks

Research conducted by LinkedIn discovered that 68% of women state that it’s imperative that an employer includes a salary range in the job description.

Unfortunately, there’s still a gender pay gap in some industries.

However, if you add the salary range in the advert, you’ll build a level of trust and transparency between yourself and the candidate.

Offering flexible working hours and detailing that in the job description can make your job advert more attractive to new mothers as well.

Be willing to adapt

Flexibility is key in the recruitment game.

Once you’ve implemented the above elements, don’t rest on your laurels.

As a company, you should continue to analyse the success of a recruitment campaign and be willing to change things if certain vacancies aren’t attracting an equal amount of men and women.

You can then split test certain job adverts or methods to see which is more effective.

It’s worth noting that referrals can cause issues in your recruitment pipeline too, as male employees are statistically more likely to recommend other men who are similar to themselves.

To remedy this mindset, think about introducing a training programme designed to educate your employees about your company’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives.


All-in-all, gender equality starts with the very foundation of your recruitment pipeline.

Don’t just pick out a certain amount of females or males from the masses of applications, as this isn’t a fair analysis of applicants’ credentials.

You should always choose on merit, however, if you make the necessary changes to your job advert and branding, you’ll get more highly-qualified females going for your vacancy.

Address each element and you’ll start to establish your company as gender equality leaders within your industry.

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