Pursuing gender-balance in attracting and recruiting talent

The MCC National Group est. 2017

Male Champions of Change aim to achieve gender equality and accelerate the advancement of more women into leadership positions. We strive for gender balance at all levels of our organisations. This commitment is grounded in a core belief that to reap the diversity dividend, we must tap into the full available talent pool.

Without removing barriers to entry for women we risk missing out on the best candidates. In pursuing gender-balance in attracting and recruiting talent we must understand and remove conscious and unconscious biases that may exist recruitment, development and promotion decisions.

Internal investigations by some organisations in the MCC National Est. 2017 Group found there were barriers to women in recruitment processes. Particularly to non-traditional female positions and senior roles. We need to actively attract, interview and recruit more women to broaden the talent pool.

BASF case study: Proactive sourcing

What we heard: We needed to increase the number of women interviewed and recruited. Particularly to non-traditional female positions and senior roles.

Action taken: A new approach to ‘proactive sourcing’ has enabled BASF to significantly increase the number of women interviewed and appointed. This included 2 senior STEM roles. The approach included mapping of potential women talent using channels such as LinkedIn, SEEK Talent Search; as well as database searches from previous women candidates. 

For every role advertised, BASF appoints a Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador. The Ambassador is available to assist the hiring manager in defining the job role and designing the advertisement in a way that is appealing to both men and women. They focus on competencies and potential rather than just industry experience. Diversity and Inclusion Ambassadors also strongly encourage hiring managers to achieve gender balanced shortlists and interviews. 

Impact: There is a commitment and understanding across the organisation that the new approach is right for the business. It has created larger talent pools and resulted in the placement of women into roles traditionally performed by men. Hiring Managers are starting to change their focus from ‘experience’ to ‘potential’.

From 2018 to 2019 BASF saw a positive shift in the ratio of women recruited into their organisation. The percentage of women within BASF increased by 5% from 23% to 28%. This is the first time for this shift in 10 years.

Success stories of women hires throughout 2018 and 2019 into non-traditional female positions has encouraged hiring managers to be more open minded. As a result, BASF’s gender hiring ratio for external hires in 2018 and internal hires in 2019 were 50/50, meeting their hiring target. In 2019 applications received by BASF were 75% male and 25% female, but through BASF’s selection process the hiring split was 61% male and 39% female. The results for the first half of 2020 has continued the gender hiring ratio of 50/50 for all roles.

Further Information

We have identified practical actions to interrupt bias when attracting, recruiting and retaining the best candidates in the 40:40:20 For gender balance – Interrupting bias in your talent processes toolkit. The toolkit details lessons learnt from in-depth reviews of recruitment, promotion and talent processes and for leaders to adopt or adapt for use in their organisation.