Invisible barriers: what measures can institutions implement to tackle or diminish gender-related challenges when seeking new talent?

Invisible barriers: what measures can institutions implement to tackle or diminish gender-related challenges when seeking new talent?

Article by InterSearch Kenya, Human Performance Dynamics Africa

In today’s competitive job market, promoting gender diversity has evolved from being a moral imperative to a strategic advantage for organizations. Embracing gender diversity not only ensures a fair and inclusive workplace but also injects a wealth of perspectives and talents into the organizational mix. Achieving this goal necessitates the implementation of a comprehensive set of strategies within the recruitment and talent acquisition processes.

In the exploration of various strategies, it is imperative to take into account aspects including:

  • Identifying and Addressing Gender Disparities: Thoroughly scrutinize interview and candidate selection processes to uncover and rectify existing gender-based barriers and disparities. Analyze historical data and gather candidate feedback to gain valuable insights.
  • Blind Recruitment: Ensure a fair candidate evaluation process by intentionally excluding factors like gender, age, and photographs from initial candidate assessments. Concentrate solely on qualifications and skills during the assessment.
  • Diverse Hiring Panels: Enhance the interview process by involving a diverse panel comprising individuals of all genders to promote impartial candidate assessments and reduce unconscious biases.
  • Standardized Interview Questions: Develop a consistent set of interview questions centered on job-related skills and qualifications. Avoid questions that may introduce bias, such as those related to family, career gaps, or work-life balance.
  • Gender-Inclusive Job Descriptions and Advertisements: Reimagine job descriptions and advertisements to employ language that encourages individuals of all genders to consider job opportunities. Utilizing gender-neutral language is an essential practice.
  • Diversify Sourcing Channels: Embrace a wide range of sourcing channels throughout the recruitment and executive search processes. Actively explore avenues that advocate for gender parity, including considering women-led organizations and leveraging social media platforms.
  • Diversity Goals and Targets: Integrate diversity objectives and targets into talent search strategies, including gender and minority representation. Maintain continuous monitoring of progress toward achieving these objectives.
  • Referral Schemes: Implement a referral program incentivizing internal staff to recommend candidates of all genders. Leverage their insights and networks to identify exceptional talent.
  • Training and Education: Provide comprehensive training for headhunters, interviewers, and research teams. Focus on mitigating unconscious bias, fostering inclusivity, and increasing awareness of various socio-cultural dynamics.
  • Encourage Internal Mobility: Cultivate an environment that motivates individuals to explore new opportunities within the organization. Recognize that introducing fresh perspectives can enhance existing processes and benefit the entire organization.
  • External Audits: Enhance transparency and accountability by involving third-party auditors to evaluate your recruitment processes to gain insights into the effectiveness of internal strategies in attracting diverse candidates.
  • Pipeline Development: Strategically plan for the influence of diversity on job roles, including creating rollout plans that illustrate how individuals from diverse backgrounds can add value to the organization.
  • Expand Your Network: Cultivate an extensive professional network that encourages and attracts individuals who align with the organization’s values and objectives.

Integrating these strategies into recruitment and talent acquisition processes can significantly aid organizations in fostering gender diversity and establishing a workplace that places a high value on both equality and inclusiveness. This endeavor extends beyond mere compliance; it’s about tapping into the advantages of diverse perspectives and talents to drive innovation and foster prosperity.

Executive Search Partners of InterSearch Worldwide involved with the Diversity & Inclusion Practice have extensive experience recruiting in an increasingly complex and diverse business community. 


About Human Performance Dynamics Africa

HPDA is a boutique consulting firm that provides strategic and innovative Human Capital Management expertise across all areas of the employment life cycle. Our focus is on delivering top-tier solutions to forward looking organizations that are interested in optimizing performance. Our skills and expertise cover a wide range of HR activities and initiatives. The programs we design are developed to meet specific organizational needs.