Here's why women avoid working for your company, according to Stanford
A recent study done by the Clayman Institute at Stanford University shows that corporate culture that includes and embraces potential of women in the workplace is important for female candidates when selecting an employer. This is also often overlooked by the employers themselves, who instead may unwillingly show signs of only male-oriented environment orientation.
In a recent study, researchers fr om the Clayman Institute for Gender Research and Department of Sociology at Stanford University attended 84 information sessions held by tech companies at a college in the West Coast of the US and noted the attendees’ responses to the given presentations. The results showed that women appeared less engaged when the corporate culture that was presented by the companies was one wh ere women weren’t well-represented.
The study showed that the female attendees’ engagement dropped when presentations featured slides of men in active roles, such as astronauts, computer technicians, or even in stock images where men raised their hands to ask questions, or when the same presentations showed women in seductive poses, such as a woman looking suggestively over her shoulder, a woman wearing red, and a woman in skin-tight clothing. The attendees also showed signs of disengagement when the information sessions themselves were led by men, who held technical roles such as opening speakers, while women played mainly supportive roles such as greeters and speakers on topics like maintaining a balance between home life and work life, as opposed to the job itself. The study shows that less than one fourth of the fundamental technical content was presented by female engineers.
When this information is isolated, it is not difficult to see why women could be indifferent towards working at such companies. Even if these are subconsciously signs, presentations send red flags to women. They demonstrate that workplaces that display them are primarily male-oriented and may not make the female staff feel “included” in their culture or provide them with the same opportunities as the men.
This point was underlined by the fact that women attendees showed twice as much engagement when a company indicated that female employees were more likely to thrive. Such indications manifested themselves in the form of women speakers, who showcased the company’s technologies, presentations that demonstrated great technical abilities, and female speakers that focused on the company’s mission, instead of mundane issues that employees may face while working there. Besides asking twice as many questions, the women attendees were far more likely to stay at the presentation, and so were the men.
Women pay attention to messages that many companies may not even consider when marketing or headhunting, whether they do it consciously or subconsciously. These messages are imbedded in the way a company presents itself to the public and goes far beyond their website’s diversity page. People who want to join your company, or perhaps whether they want to stay there, look for the certain things when evaluating their possibility of involvement, such as the number of women and people of color that are in leadership roles, opportunities for career growth, and the possibility of professional development or a mentorship. Once a company focuses on points that involve the development of everyone who works there, it will be able to attract the best professionals, regardless of gender.