Senior tech roles need to offer more flexibility to attract more women. Here’s why.
By Mel Day, CEO
I read with great interest a recent BBC article which covered the rise of female applicants for senior flexible jobs.
According to Zurich insurance, women are 20% more likely to apply for senior roles if they offer flexible hours.
We do need to note that Zurich themselves are pioneering flexible working at the top tier – so in reality this is a very good piece of publicity by their PR firm which has got them vast media attention at a probable fraction of the equivalent advetising cost.
But potential dodgy data aside, the argument to me seems good.
- Women are 20% more likely to apply for senior roles if they offer flexible hours.
- Using gender-neutral language in job adverts also generated “significant change”
This second “result” is where flakiness sets in for me I’m afraid – as “significant change” is undefined!
However, Zurich has been good enough to air its dirty laundry:
- Women struggled to progress in their careers at Zurich in the past
- There were a lack of applications from women for senior roles, many of which had not been available on a flexible basis.
By adding six words relating to flexible working to their job adverts, the number of women hired for top roles has risen by 33%. This has also helped tackle the firm’s gender pay gap.
It’s also not exclusive to men. The study, which looked at Zurich job vacancies between March 2019 and February 2020, found many more men also applied for roles when they offered flexible working options
Existing part-time and contract employees also reported a stronger sense of belonging since the changes, as there was a greater blur between people working part and full time.
So it seems like a win all round – the question is, why aren’t more companies doing it?
Like anything, it probably comes down to numbers. Perhaps there is a dip in revenue as a result? But if it helps them attract the best candidates in future, this will surely rise.
What do you think?
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