The IT & engineering sectors are particularly challenging as they are still very much male-dominated fields.
So what solutions are there to help reduce unconscious bias and secure the best talent?
Blind CVs – this is when information that could allude to someone’s gender, nationality, age etc is removed from a CV in order to combat any unconscious bias.
One study found that this increased female hires from 10% to 20-30%. CV’s have become increasingly “blind” over the past few decades in order to combat discrimination, so it seems as though we could be heading towards to completely anonymised CV?
Standardised interviews – Having a set of predefined questions, which are drawn from the job description ensures everyone gets an equal opportunity at the interview stage. However, they can be very difficult to implement in practice.
An entirely standardised interview can prevent rapport building and risks coming as across cold and impersonal.
On the plus side, standardisation can help prevent over-valuing one aspect, such as rapport building, which could result in hiring the person you like the most, rather than the person most suitable for the position.
“There may not be a quick fix for diversifying some industries in the short-term.”
These are two suggestions for helping to decrease unconscious bias and therefore increase diversity. However, there is the argument that companies in engineering & IT want to hire inclusively, but a lack of a diverse candidate pool makes this difficult.
There may not be a quick fix for diversifying some industries in the short-term. It requires proactive initiatives and long-term investment from sectors such as IT & engineering.
Some companies work closely with schools to encourage all students to get involved in STEM subjects, others host all-female recruitment days.
Taking these proactive actions can really help with attracting a diverse talent pool and contributing to real change in the future of the IT & Engineering industries.
What do you think?
What will have the biggest impact in the short-term to improve diversity and inclusion?