Your Guide to Gender Bias in Recruitment & the Workplace

Your Guide to Gender Bias in Recruitment & the Workplace

We all have unconscious bias tendencies whether we realize it or not.  The most important thing to remember is that we can create hiring practices and workplace policies that can ensure that procedures won’t allow for this unfair practice to take place.

If you would like a complimentary consultant please reach out today. We would love to post your job posting on our Women in Biz Network Diversity-Driven Career Board. 


Gender bias is prevalent in every aspect of our lives. Our brains are hardwired to categorize things we encounter in order to make sense of the complicated world around us. However, biases can cause us to form prejudices against others, which allows for egregious inequalities to form between different demographics.

While bias comes in many forms, this article focuses on gender bias and its role within the workplace. We’ll cover what it is, where and when it happens, along with 13 ways you can reduce gender bias and ultimately build a more diverse and inclusive workplace. It should be noted that while there is a spectrum of gender identities, due to constraints within existing literature we’ll focus on the gender binaries ⁠— male and female. Feel free to click the links below to skip ahead.


Gender bias is the tendency to prefer one gender over another. It is a form of unconscious bias, or implicit bias, which occurs when one individual unconsciously attributes certain attitudes and stereotypes to another person or group of people. These ascribed behaviors affect how the individual understands and engages with others.


Table of Contents


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Gender bias is the tendency to prefer one gender over another.

It is a form of unconscious bias, or implicit bias, which occurs when one individual unconsciously attributes certain attitudes and stereotypes to another person or group of people. These ascribed behaviors affect how the individual understands and engages with others.

In today’s society, gender bias is often used to refer to the preferential treatment men receive — specifically white, heterosexual males. It’s often labeled as “sexism” and describes the prejudice against women solely on the basis of their sex. Gender bias is most prominently visible within professional settings.


Gender bias is the tendency to prefer one gender over another gender.

In addition to gender bias, there are a number of other types of unconscious bias that disproportionately affect women’s success in the workplace, which include:


Performance support bias occurs when employers, managers and colleagues provide more resources and opportunities to one gender (typically men) over another.

One study found that among sales employees — who are paid based on performance and commission — women are unfairly assigned inferior accounts compared to men, even though women have proven to produce the same results when given equivalent sales opportunities.


Performance review bias occurs when employers, managers and colleagues review an employee of one gender differently from another gender — even when the evaluations are purely merit-based.

Harvard Business Review found that performance evaluations are inherently bias, even when companies make an effort to remove bias by making them open-ended. In fact, without structure to evaluations, people are more likely to review an individual on the basis of stereotypes related to gender and race than reviewing individuals meritocratically.


Performance reward bias occurs when employers, managers and colleagues reward an employee of one gender differently from another gender. Rewards may be in the form of promotions, raises or other merit-based rewards.

While it may seem like rewarding individuals on merit would help eliminate gender bias, it’s not as cut-and-dry as you think. One study found that when women and minorities receive the same exact performance evaluation score as white men for the same job and work unit, they receive lower pay increases than white men.


A major result of these biases have contributed to the creation of the glass ceiling. The glass ceiling is a metaphor for the evident but intangible hierarchical impediment that prevents minorities and women from achieving elevated professional success.

Due to contributing factors, like the aforementioned types of bias, women and minorities experience a barrier that prevents them from reaching upper-level roles in leadership and the C-Suite.

With the basics of gender bias down, let’s review some statistics to see where and how such biases affect women in the workplace.


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To further illustrate the role gender bias plays in the office, we’ve gathered a number of statistics related to diversity and gender bias in the workplace:



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When it comes down to it, gender bias can happen at all stages of recruiting, hiring and retaining employees. In this section, we’re going to break down some key areas where gender bias affects candidates and their careers.


As we mentioned earlier, both male and female hiring managers are twice as likely to hire a man over a woman. Throughout the recruiting process, there can be traces of gender bias, starting with where and how you recruit candidates.

Looking for a job after graduating college, Erin McKelvey didn’t receive a single response from employers. When she changed her name from Erin (a feminine name) to Mack (a more masculine name) on her resume, she received a 70% response rate.

Additionally, employers may unconsciously (or consciously) place open roles on platforms with predominantly male candidates or actively target men through ads. Aside from being unethical, know that this is also illegal, which Facebook discovered the hard way back in 2018.


Even something as mundane as a job description contains traces of unconscious bias. Language inherently has gendered associations, so including words like confident, decisive, strong and outspoken have been found to attract male candidates and deter female candidates.

Research also shows that men apply to jobs where they meet 60% of the qualifications while women only apply to jobs that they meet 100% of the qualifications. Meaning if your job description has a lot of unnecessary or strict requirements, you are unintentionally weeding out women from applying to your open roles.

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When interviews are not standardized, the questions interviewers ask can be biased based on the candidate’s personality, experiences and yes, even gender.

One study found that hiring managers tend to ask male candidates to perform more math-based interview tests and female candidates more verbal interview tests.

Hiring managers are also more likely to ask female candidates about parental plans and responsibilities, and while discriminating against parents and pregnant people is illegal, asking questions about a candidate’s parental status technically isn’t illegal.


One study found that when candidates were assessed separately by individual hiring managers, 51% of managers were influenced by the candidate’s gender and selected the under-performing candidate. However, when candidates were evaluated by a hiring team together, gender didn’t affect their decision, they simply hired the highest performing candidate.

Additionally, during the interview, hiring managers tend to ask more targeted questions about a female candidate’s leadership abilities and unconsciously prefer more masculine leadership styles.


We briefly discussed the glass ceiling earlier in this article, which is a metaphor for the evident but intangible hierarchical impediment that prevents minorities and women from achieving elevated professional success.

It’s clear that gender biases play a significant role in women’s ability to excel in their careers and reach upper-level roles. You can learn more on this topic in our article about the glass ceiling.

It also doesn’t help that 60% of male managers are uncomfortable mentoring, socializing with or working one-on-one with female employees and 36% of men think it would look bad if they worked one-on-one, traveled with or had dinners with female colleagues.

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In order to achieve upper-level positions, it is highly beneficial for individual contributors to have a mentor supporting them throughout their career. Companies that have mentorship programs are found to boost promotion and retention rates for women by 15-38%.

Not only that, but 67% of women view mentorship as a highly important factor contributing to their career advancement, yet only 10% of women actually have a mentor during their career.

However, women aren’t exactly helping younger generations progress — only 54% of women consider being a mentor. The time commitment alone dissuades three out of four women from mentoring a younger colleague. The second most common reason women don’t mentor is because they don’t believe they have subject matter expertise. But at the same time, 71% of women said they would become a formal mentor if someone asked them.


The gender pay gap is no joke. Between men and women, the gender pay gap ranges from 3% to 51% and on average sits at 17%. However, we need to consider the two measurements of the gender pay gap — adjusted and unadjusted.

Now, you’ve probably heard that women make 78 cents to every $1 that men make. This refers to the unadjusted gender pay gap which factors in the average salary of men and women.

The adjusted gender pay gap takes into account factors like differences in education, occupations chosen, skills, hours worked and job experience. With the adjusted gender pay gap, women make about 95 cents to every $1 that men make.

When considering the gender pay gap, you must account for the fact that more women are segregated to lower-level jobs in low-paying industries and are unable to obtain upper-level roles due to biases and the glass ceiling. These disparities in opportunities, prevent women from excelling in their career and inhibits their ability to make the same amount as men. At every stage of their careers, women face barriers that place them at a disadvantage for career opportunities, mentorships, promotions and pay raises.

For a clearer comparison of ‘unadjusted’ and ‘adjusted’ gender pay gap, we’ve included Glassdoor’s breakdown of the two types of gender pay gap in the the graph below.

Image via Glassdoor


The perks and benefits companies offer can significantly contribute to gender bias and opportunity discrepancies between genders. This is especially true when it comes to benefits for working parents since women are typically assigned to act as the primary caregiver of children, which has led to a motherhood penalty.

54% of women with a young child don’t work because they need to care for their child. On the other hand, 53% of stay-at-home moms say flexible working hours is an important factor of accepting a job opportunity.

At the same time, fathers only take about one day of parental leave for every month mothers take and 23% of men are not taking parental leave at all, even though their companies offer the benefit. There is still a strong stigma around taking parental leave and it harming one’s career, which is a serious concern to 63% of men.

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In the previous two sections, we talked about unequal pay, benefits and the different expectations of men and women. For working mothers, these discrepancies are even more drastic and surprising.

Research shows full-time working mothers that are 42 years of age experience a wage ‘penalty,’ making 11% less than women without children. And when education, region and occupational class are considered, this ‘penalty’ drops to 7%.

Full-time working fathers of the same age, however, actually experience a wage ‘bonus,’ making 22% more than men without children. And when education, region and occupational class are considered, this ‘bonus’ drops to 21%.

In general, women who work full-time earn 34% less than men of the same age. And for men and women without children, the pay gap is still 12% less for women. created an infographic that provides further information on disparities between dads overall and women by race and ethnic differences.

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Another study found that when candidates of equal merit apply for the same job, mothers were penalized. Women without children received 2.1 times more callbacks and were recommended to be hired 1.8 times more compared to equally qualified mothers. Not only that, but fathers were recommended to be hired at a slightly higher rate than men without children.


While both men and women experience sexual harassment, nearly 75% of EEOC sexual harassment claims are filed by women.

A staggering 70% of women who experience sexual harassment, experience it in the workplace. And of the women who experience it within the first two years at a new job, 80% quit and move to a different company.

Not only that, but the stigma around sexual harassment in the workplace is still extremely prevalent, affecting 45% of women who are not confident in their senior leadership’s ability to address the issue. Not to mention the 75% of women who face retaliation after reporting harassment to their employers.

Whether women decide to start over somewhere else or risk retaliation from addressing the issue, they are at a constant risk of harming their careers after being sexually harassed.


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Now that we know where to look for gender bias in the workplace, let’s tackle some ways you and your team can actively work to reduce biases and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace for everyone.


Start by collecting data about your employee demographics. Look at disparities between men and women by department, seniority and retention. You may also consider publishing this information on your careers page to remain transparent with your entire company and to hold your team accountable for moving the needle toward becoming an entirely gender diverse and equal opportunity employer.


Conduct regular pay audits to identify how men and women are paid and promoted differently. Consider both the adjusted and unadjusted pay gaps that we talked about earlier in this article.

Also, it may behoove you to publish your findings for the entire company to see or even on your careers page. One study found that when Denmark created a law in 2006 requiring companies to report on their salary information and break it down by gender, the gender wage gap was reduced by 7% in just 12 years. While there were likely a number of factors that influenced this change, informing people about the gender pay gap at large and specifically within your company is the only way these improvements will take effect.


Aside from collecting demographic and compensation information, you also need to gather open-ended, real experiences from your team.

Employee engagement surveys are a great way to gather more data about your team and identify trends in how your employees engage in their work. Keep in mind that in order to obtain the best, most unfiltered responses, you’ll want to keep these surveys anonymous. If your teams are small and not highly gender diverse, you may not want to ask for personal information like job title or even gender because if there’s only one woman with a specific role on the team, she will be easily identifiable.

Additionally, you may want to implement perception surveys, which focus on the safety of your employees. Anonymous surveys like this will provide an opportunity for employees to share experiences they’ve encountered like sexual harassment or gender bias that may not have been addressed in standard employee engagement surveys.

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To reduce gender bias in your recruiting process, start by looking at the language you use. Utilize this gender decoder to identify biased language in your job descriptions. You could also plug in recruitment content from emails, interview questions and employer branding materials for social media and your careers page.

Implement blind applications and interviews to improve female candidates’ chances of being hired by 25-46%. Also, make sure to attract enough great candidates so that you have at least two women in the finalist pool; doing so will improve a woman’s chance of being hired by 79 times.


One simple way to reduce gender bias in your recruiting process is to invest in recruitment tools that utilize automation or artificial intelligence to make decisions.

Not only will this save time during the initial screening process, but it will help filter through candidates based on merit rather than gender or other characteristics that may place them at a biased and unfair disadvantage.

However, it is also important to note that artificial intelligence is a type of machine learning, so over time, if human biases are introduced, artificial intelligence can learn and perpetuate those biases, so take precautions when using such technology to reduce bias early on.

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Sure, biases are a simple fact of life, but that doesn’t mean they are set in stone. The best way to reduce unconscious gender bias is to learn about it and take action to alter your perception of biases for the better.

Start by informing your team of the different types of unconscious bias and then look for diversity and inclusion professionals or unconscious bias programs near you that will support your efforts. Not convinced you need training? Check out why these five companies offer unconscious bias training.


To provide all of your employees with equal opportunities, create a standardized mentoring process. One company created a program and found that the mentees who participated were five times more likely to obtain a higher salary and five times more likely to be promoted. And the mentors that participated were six times more likely to obtain a raise.

Additionally, the same study found that retention rates for mentees was 23% higher than employees who didn’t participate in the program, and for mentors the retention rate was 20% higher.

If a mentor program doesn’t quite work for your team, consider partnering with an e-mentoring program to connect your employees with professionals outside of your company.

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When you’re implementing a new project, make sure you’re bringing together a diverse team with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to tackle it. One study found that gender diverse teams are 73% better at decision making than teams that are all men. A gender diverse team will also support women in their professional development and provide them with opportunities they may otherwise miss out on.



When you review the perks and benefits you offer, bring your entire team in on the conversation. Provide them an opportunity to share honest feedback on the benefits they wish your team had and the benefits that would draw them to another company. If you have a young company, employees may value parental leave benefits, whereas if your employees are later in their careers, they may care more about retirement benefits. Having these conversations will help you invest in benefits that will actually support your employee’s work-life balance.

Additionally, parental leave brings a wealth of benefits beyond supporting working mothers’ work-life balance, including boosting retention ratesreducing the ‘motherhood penalty,’ as well as improving morale at work.

Also, know that if you don’t offer benefits that support work-life balance and working parents, your competitors will — if they aren’t already — and you will miss out on great candidates. To prove our point, we’ve included a graph from SHRM of how organizations are boosting their parental leave benefits.

Image via SHRM

And when it comes to parental leave, it’s important to include working fathers and encourage them to actually take the leave. One study found for every month a man takes parental leave, women’s salaries increase correspondingly by 7%, helping to further close the gender pay gap.

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Believe it or not, your physical office space can play a role in how men and women interact in the workplace. Certain office designs have even been found to be more or less inclusive for different demographics. In industries that have been dominated by men, oftentimes, there aren’t even bathrooms for women.

Many companies also do not offer a mother’s room, forcing working moms to breastfeed in the bathroom or other places that are less than welcoming and unhygienic.


Regular bias training, adjusting office spaces, and opening up more leadership opportunities are all a great step in the right direction when overcoming gender bias in the workplace. With that said, it can’t stop there. Beyond managerial or even C-level leadership positions, companies also need to take a hard look at their board of directors.

As of 2018, just 16.9% of global boardroom seats were held by women. Though there have been steps taken to change this, such as California’s 2018 law mandating that any publicly traded company based in the state must have one woman on the board of directors, there is still a lot of work to do. A study performed at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business showed that, “Companies with more women on their board of directors are more likely to be companies that have programs, guidelines, and clear policies to avoid corrupt business dealings, have strong partnerships and have high levels of disclosure and transparency.” If you’re looking for ways to build a more diverse and transparent workplace and business, appointing more women to your board of directors is a perfect place to start.


Last but not least, review your nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies, and make sure this information is included in job descriptions, employee handbooks and your career page. In addition to your policies, provide employees with information and resources on who to reach out to in different situations. Include clear steps for what is going to happen so people know what to expect when they file a complaint.

We’ve reached the end and by now, you should be well-informed about the basics of gender bias in the workplace. It’s certainly a complex and dynamic topic that is ever evolving, so make sure to keep learning and discovering new and improved ways to reduce gender bias in the workplace.

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These Are the Benefits Women Actually Want at Work

These Are the Benefits Women Actually Want at Work

Do you wonder what benefits really resonate with women? It isn’t really rocket science, in fact, it is mostly about equality and flexibility.

If you would like a complimentary consultant please reach out today. We would love to post your job posting on our Women in Biz Network Diversity-Driven Career Board. 


two women sitting on leather chairs in front of table

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

It’s the age-old debate: what do women really want?

Or it was the debate, rather. Women aren’t exactly shy these days about voicing what it is they want, at home, in politics, and perhaps most especially in the workplace. But then, shyness was never really the issue — being heard was, and heard free from the potential for bias or stigma. Despite progress that’s been made in this arena, especially in the months following #MeToo, the possibility of being stigmatized for voicing one’s wants and experiences still too-often persists for one group in particular: female jobseekers.

1. Equal Pay

Simone de Beauvoir may have nailed it in “The Second Sex” — there is no women’s empowerment without women’s economic empowerment.

That famed treatise was published nearly seven decades ago, and yet, women still struggle to be financially valued at the same rate as men. The gender pay gap persists, with white women bringing in 85 cents, Black women 63 cents, and Latina women just 54 cents to the white man’s dollar in 2017, and we see equally stark pay disparities within the glittering gates of Hollywood. If the gap is ever truly going to be closed, greater corporate transparency and equality-ensuring measures are essential. Some companies, like Squarespace, have begun answering that call by publishing employees’ salary information, and others, like Amazon, have outlawed asking for candidates’ salary history in interviews.

If your employer is behind the times on promoting pay equality, it’s worth checking out Fairygodboss’ salary database, crowdsourced from users. If you determine you aren’t being paid at a rate that’s comparable to your male peers, there are some steps you can take, like talking to your boss — or finding a new job at a company that’s known for actually treating women fairly. Fairygodboss’ jobs board is full of openings at companies women love.

2. Flexibility

Your reputation as an inclusive, women-friendly employer won’t go far these days without offering the highly sought-after benefit of flexibility. For women, flexibility has been proven to correlate to higher levels of ambition — one 2013 survey from Catalyst found that having access to flexible work arrangements led to a 31% increase in women’s likeliness to aspire to senior executive- or CEO-level positions. And flexibility helps employers, too — other studies have shown that flexible workers are happier, more productive, and less likely to burn out, leading to lower turnover rates.

Flexibility can be incorporated to varying degrees — at some workplaces, employees can take advantage of fully built-out “flex time” policies, while at others, it simply means not having to sweat taking the afternoon off for a doctor’s appointment. To get the specifics on which employers offer flexible perks like part-time and telecommuting positions, check out Fairygodboss’ Work-Life Balance & Flexibility Guide.

3. Paid Parental Leave — for Both Parents

More than 75% of expecting moms report being excited to return to work — and yet, 43% end up leaving their jobs, according to research discussed in a recent webinar with Fairygodboss and Maven Clinic.

The factors behind this alarming statistic are manifold, but one thing is clear: companies must do a better job of supporting employees, of all genders, in their desire to start a family. And the most obvious place to start is by incorporating better, longer, and paid parental leave policies — something the United States as a whole is frightfully behind on. In fact, according to a recent Pew Research Center analysis, the U.S. is the only developed country in the world to not offer mandatory paid parental leave. Only 12% of U.S. workers have access to paid leave, and for those who do have access to it, the amount offered is often insufficient to the point of forcing women back to work before they or their child are ready.

A growing number of companies are taking it into their own hands to do right by mothers, though, like Deloitte, which recently expanded its leave policy to include 16 fully paid weeks for men and women to care for relatives. One Deloitte employee and Fairygodboss user applauded the company for its “excellent maternity leave,” writing in her review that “when returning (to work), you aren’t penalized,” while another said the firm is good at “providing new moms with the flexibility to dial down and spend more time with your kids as needed.”

Beyond reading user reviews of company policies, you can also easily compare parental leave perks through Fairygodboss’ maternity leave database.

4. Paid Sick Leave

Most of us have had at some point worked for an employer where taking the day off for an illness was not looked kindly upon. #ProTip for companies hoping to attract and retain women — don’t be that employer.

Offering paid sick leave (something else the U.S. is behind on compared to other developed countries) shows that employees’ wellness is a true priority at a company. And while there may be punchier ways of imparting the same message — like, say, on-site yoga classes — the cornerstone of promoting employees’ health is giving them the knowledge they won’t be financially punished if they or a child get sick. Paid sick leave is also something that stands out favorably to female jobseekers, in particular, many of whom still make up the bulk of America’s primary caretakers. As Fairygodboss users have testified to time and again, a company where women feel that not only they, but their family is supported is a company women are likely to stay at.

5. Professional Development Opportunities

What does impress female jobseekers much? The knowledge that their gender isn’t seen as a barrier to getting promoted at a company.

“Professional development” may feel like a buzzword nowadays, but its impact is anything but ephemeral. Women need mentors, and they need to be shown examples of career paths where women like them have seen success in advancing. Companies can make this a reality by offering female employees designated mentors and sponsorship initiatives, like IBM has done through its Pathways Program, a multi-faceted initiative that pairs mid-career technical women with career development resources like executive coaches, sponsors, workshops and learning labs.

It’s this kind of emphasis on female talent advancement that no doubt leads women at IBM to leave such glowing reviews on Fairygodboss; one user wrote that at IBM, she had “the opportunity to reinvent myself over and over again with the endless support and encouragement,” while another noted that the tech giant “encourages skills development & growth opportunities across the organization, and for employees to design their career path.”


(Content courtesy of Ellevate) 

7 reasons why you should include a salary range in your job postings

7 reasons why you should include a salary range in your job postings

A question we often asked at Bee Happy HR – Your Diverse Talent Hive is whether you should post salary ranges on job postings. Our answer is almost always yes. If you would like a complimentary consultant reach out today. We would love to post your job posting on our Women in Biz Network Diversity-Driven Career Board. 


smiling woman

The question of whether or not to disclose salaries in job ads is one that generally sparks much debate. It’s a contentious issue. Naysayers will often talk about how it can weaken negotiating abilities or give competitors a gratuitous glance at your rates of pay. Mitigating current employee jealousy also gets bandied about when salary ranges are discussed. While these are factors to consider, it’s also worth looking at the other side of the coin. The benefits may far outweigh the shortcomings…

1. It’s one of the first things job seekers look for

According to SHRM, when looking at a job posting, compensation and benefits are the primary things that most candidates are looking for. It is a motivating factor and one that shouldn’t be easily ignored.

In fact, LinkedIn has said that 70% of professionals will want to hear about salary in the first message from a recruiter. So cut out the middleman and include it in the job posting. It’ll save you time while simultaneously giving vital information to potentially interested candidates.

2. Candidates will try to find out anyway

Whether it’s the first thing they ask or if they do their own sleuthing on sites like Glassdoor or, candidates want to know what kind of salary to expect. And a lot of the information is out there anyway. Concealing compensation from candidates is all smokescreen – in the end, every potential employee has to be offered something. Be up-front and show transparency. Remember, salary is important but isn’t always the deciding factor.

3. Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Transparency across all company policies, behaviour, and performance is becoming of increasing importance in any business. Whether it’s in terms of impact to the environment, treatment of staff, diversity, etc., the corporate veil is being quickly tugged down. One way to ensure that your organization is on a committed path to equality and fairness is to disclose salary ranges. It is a very powerful action that illustrates how your company isn’t interested in dangerous mystique. Our resident job postings expert Katrina Kibben believes that pay transparency is a ‘trust builder’ and keeping them secret creates emotional liability.

4. Millennials want it that way

In Jennifer Deal’s hugely successful book ‘What Millennials Want From Work’, she found that:

Millennials are most likely to discuss their compensation with their parents (71%) or their friends (47%). In comparison, older staff are substantially less likely to discuss their compensation with co-workers (19%), friends (24%) or parents (31%).”

Openness about finance is a deep-rooted trend among this cohort. And considering the fact that millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, it is perhaps worth thinking about this in terms of how to attract them. If salary ranges appeal to this generation then it makes sense to include them in job postings.

5.) Candidates don’t often leave jobs to be paid at the same level

According to the 2020 Compensation Best Practices Report by Payscale, one of the major reasons why employees leave companies is for a higher salary. It’s important to understand that salary history does not give you a guide as to how much a candidate is worth. Maybe their most recent salary was $35,000, but it’s been that figure for the past 4 years due to a pay freeze within the organization. Does that mean that the candidate is going to be willing to accept a salary of $36,000 with your company? Maybe not. Upfront details about what a position is worth will encourage applications from strong, dedicated candidates.

6. It is becoming more normalized

One of the greatest barriers to including a salary scale on job postings is tradition. Legacy has a LOT to answer for when it comes to certain hiring practices. Required years of experience, particular college degrees, and many more ultimately irrelevant requirements. So when it comes to job postings, companies often have a set way of operating which might be incorrect. Thankfully, change is on the horizon and many companies are already embracing the benefits of transparency. GlitchBasecamp, and Buffer have all very publicly bucked the trend – it’s even becoming law in some states in America.

7. Standing out from the pack

It’s understandable that some companies would be hesitant to include a salary range in their job postings. Smaller or niche businesses may not be able to compete with the larger enterprises and don’t want to seem like a secondary tier. And, while money is of course a big motivator for job seekers, it isn’t always the primary impetus. Non-cash benefits like superior cultures and remote opportunities can also sway opinion. But, the transparency and ease that including a salary range affords cannot be overlooked. At the end of the day a candidate will only accept what they’re worth, so why deceive?



Learn more about Leigh Mitchell

Learn more about Leigh Mitchell

Leigh Mitchell is a Career and Business Brand Strategist and the founder of Bee Happy HR Co. which builds buzz for diversity and equality-driven brands. She works with busy recruiters & HR departments with a personal mission to humanize HR and recruitment services. Leigh is also the founder of Women in Biz Network, she coaches clients, speaks with interesting guests on her Time to Thrive Podcast, curates mentorship initiatives, promotes Women in Biz Network’s diversity-driven career board, and delivers skill-building events to a variety of audiences. Throughout her career, Leigh has worked with brands such as Microsoft Canada, TELUS, TD Canada Trust, Staples Canada, and Chevrolet Canada. Leigh has been featured in the CBC News, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Canadian Living, Wall Street Journal, and a speaker at numerous industry events.

Services provided:

  • Business and personal branding strategy & execution
  • Career strategy coaching
  • HR services:  recruitment, job role, or company promotion, diversity and inclusion consulting, “creating happy culture” consulting

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Women are Selling themselves Short on LinkedIn

Women are Selling themselves Short on LinkedIn

After analyzing data from more than 141 million of its U.S. members, LinkedIn identified a key difference in the way men and women present themselves in profiles: Women promote themselves and their successes considerably less.

The report suggests that men talk themselves up more, and list more information in general:

When looking at LinkedIn member data, we found men tend to skew their professional brands to highlight more senior-level experience, often removing junior-level roles altogether.

Women are more likely to have shorter profile summaries.

In the U.S., women on average include 11% less skills than men on their LinkedIn profile, even at similar occupations and experience levels.

It’s not the first evidence that implies self-promotion comes easier for men. In 2011, the American Psychological Association published a cover story that explored how men and women differ in their approaches to self-promotion and salary negotiation in the workplace, titling the article “Are men better at selling themselves?”

The answer, in short, is yes.

In a study mentioned in the story, a group of about 200 students participated in a mock job interview, answering questions like “What are some of your best qualities or strengths?” and “Overall, why someone hire you as opposed to another candidate?”

The group was then asked to consider how they came off during the interview by answering questions like “Would you worry that people thought you were too confident?” and “Would you worry about being called vain?”

The results showed that both men and women worried about the consequences of appearing overconfident, however only women let that fear stop them from self-promoting.

“It’s not that women are inherently lacking the ability to self-promote, but it’s a stereotype violation for them,” said study author Corinne A. Moss-Racusin, PhD, a professor at Skidmore College, to the American Psychological Association.

That stereotype – that women aren’t (or shouldn’t be) assertive – puts women in a unique situation professionally

“Women face a double bind. They’re penalized socially for behaving in ways that might be perceived as immodest, and they’re penalized professionally for behaving in ways that aren’t self-promoting,” said Marie-Helene Budworth, an associate professor at York University’s School of Human Resource Management, to the American Psychological Association.

And this seems to be costly, considering that a growing body of research indicates that women are far more reluctant than men to negotiate salaries and job offers. An analysis published in the book Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide estimated that misplaced modesty in salary negotiations cost the average working woman more than $500,000 in lost wages throughout her career.

Self-promotion on LinkedIn

Based on data from LinkedIn and some tips from Inc. and Zippia, here’s what seems to improve profiles for both men and women:

  • Include more skills – profiles that list five or more skills receive about 17 times more views.
  • Lean toward positive language – “Don’t use don’ts. Rather than talking about the things that your job has kept you from experiencing or the dangers you’ve avoided, bring up the wonderful things about your job,” writes Ryan Morris for Zippia.
  • Keep it succinct and stick to the facts.
  • Use professional photos (and smile, with teeth).

And if you’re still shy about promoting yourself? Lisa Thomas, PhD, in an interview with the American Psychological Association, relayed some advice that helped her decide to reach out to a potential employer — a decision that scored her a paid internship while studying as an undergraduate.

“Do it anyway. Because I was as scared as the next person.”