While the conditions of working women has improved by leaps and bounds in the last few decades, it is important to recognize that there is still a disparity in the number of women being hired, their pay scales and promotion opportunities. While there are many strategies you can employ to ensure that you have a gender neutral work place, in this post you can explore how gender bias can affect your hiring procedures and find the best ways to avoid a gender bias while hiring. 1. Recognize Issues around Gender Bias The first step to removing gender bias from your Small Business is to recognise that it exists to some extend in your business and more importantly in society at large. You as an individual may have certain perceptions on who can do certain jobs e.g. you could believe that men are more suited to data or technology related jobs. It is important to confront these beliefs before you can take a step towards a more equitable hiring practice. 2. Create a Set of Criteria Before you begin looking at candidates, create a clear picture of the required job role. List the skills that are necessary, the educational level, job experience and the characteristics that will help an individual succeed in that job role. Then formulate a set of questions that pertain to these areas. Ensure that you ask all candidates, irrespective of gender these questions. This will help you create an even playing field in the interview process. While follow up questions may vary, try and keep your list of criteria uniform across each interview. 3. Create an accurate hiring ad In order to attract the right talent to your organization, you will need to create a hiring ad and use word of mouth techniques to spread the word. It is very important that in the content and imagery of your hiring ad, you do not introduce any form of gender bias. It is always best to keep your advertisement straightforward and use it to amplify the set of criteria required in the desired candidate. Try to avoid humor or levity, while this might attract more attention, you could end up offending instead of enticing people to apply. 4. Ask for Feedback While the goal of your hiring procedure is to find the right candidate, it is also equally important that you continue to fine tune and streamline the process as much as possible. One way to ensure that this happens is to send the candidates a feedback form, irrespective of whether you chose to hire them or not. While some may not be forth coming about information, you must at least give them an opportunity whereby they are allowed to share their honest feedback. After selecting the candidate of your choice, it is also a good idea to ask them about your hiring practices and for suggestions. This could be done as part of their orientation program. It will give you a clear idea of how your company is perceived by an outsider. Follow these simple steps and be vigilant to ensure that gender bias does not influence your hiring practices. Be sure to also train your staff and conduct gender sensitivity workshops in your organization to make sure that any candidate interviewing with your business gets a fair interview.
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