‘Male-focused’ recruitment processes holding women back from boardrooms

August 9th, 2012 by Sarah Green Leave a reply »

At Zircon we feel strongly about fairness within a workplace and this reflects in us continuously reviewing and monitoring our selection and development procedures/tools to maintain a high level of integrity within our practice. A recent report from Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed that women are at a disadvantage over men at the selection process for board-level positions. As most boardrooms are dominated by men, women might be underprivileged when judged on the extent to which they can identify themselves with the values of the members of the boardroom. Laura Chamberlain from Personnel Today suggests that this is a result of recruiters tending to lean towards candidates who fit in with the boardroom culture, which is at times almost exclusively masculine.

Some research has showed that women and men do indeed value different aspects of their workplace. For example, it was mentioned in the Journal of Employee Assistance, that men rank pay, success and status highly on their list of values, whereas women put a lot of emphasis on building relationships, working in a team and earning respect in their workplace. Controversially, a study by Lluminari, Inc., mentioned in an article by Demand Media found that both men and women tend to generally value the same things; however, they prioritize and assign different levels of significance to different values.

From Zircons perspective, we believe that ultimately, there will be a mixture of what each employee values, but as long as they align with the organisations values it is not important whether they differ between individuals of the male and female population. Afterall, at Zircon we feel strongly about investing in high calibre talent that will bring great benefits to the organisation in the future and we find that it is very important to emphasise the match between the organisational needs and candidates’ capabilities and strengths, as that is what will ensure success in the future.

The article points out the importance of Britain needing a “fresh breeze” of talent and a different perspective of women which can be achieved by a diversity of males and females in the board rooms. At Zircon we are very diversity focused and we encourage a fair assessment process, meeting the current trend of companies looking for a “rounded“ candidate by bringing in a fresh blend of assessing competencies, strengths and values. From the above mentioned research, we can see that a lot of emphasis is put on whether women fit in culturally with the boardroom members. However, this tool could help reduce the disadvantage that women are faced with during selection processes, as it not only takes into consideration the values but also highlights the strengths and capabilities of an individual.

Prepared by Veronika Kubickova and Melissa Tyson, July 2012.

Sources:
Personnel Today: ‘Male-focused’ recruitment processes holding women back from boardrooms. (2012) http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2012/05/28/58554/male-focused-recruitment-processes-holding-women-back-from-boardrooms.html

Do Workplace Values Differ for Men & Women?
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/workplace-values-differ-men-women-18376.html

Values, stress indicators differ for men and women, Journal of Employee Assistance, May 2012
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PLP/is_2_35/ai_n17209172/

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