• Gender diversity in tech: one simple part of the solution

    April 03, 2017 by

     

    Gender diversity in tech companies has been a major issue for over two decades now. One part of solution to recruit more women in tech is a simple concept: more effective structured interviews.

    The numbers don’t add up. The EEOC reports that women currently make up roughly 56% of the overall workforce, but are underrepresented in tech. Only about 28% of proprietary software jobs currently held by women.

    Why is it important to have gender diversity in tech?

    The financials tend to resonate more in enterprise companies. Various reports, including one from Catalyst and one from McKinsey, have shown that companies with more female leadership tend to outperform both their market and their rivals. An additional study, from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, showed companies with 30% or more females in leadership outperformed rivals by an average 6% net profit margin.

    Women are often associated with being empathetic leaders. This is not true of all women of course, and many men are also empathetic. But if we can generally associated empathy with female leadership, we see a compelling reason to recruit more women in technology. Half of the ten most empathetic technology companies are also the fastest growing. They have grown about 23.3% per year, compared to a weighted average of 5.2% growth of all technology companies, according to one study.

    Faith Rothberg, CEO of College Recruiter and named by RecruitingDaily as a top woman in HR technology worth watching, remarked: “While I know many men who are empathetic, including my husband, I’ve generally seen a higher degree of empathy from female leaders I’ve known and worked with. When you look at these 4x growth stats for companies led from a more empathetic place, and factor in the power of technology in terms of growing a company, having more females at the helm of these types of organizations seems both crucial and a no-brainer.”

    Why is diversity in tech seemingly so far behind?

    This is often framed as a “pipeline problem,” and that might be true. For example: according to Girls Who Code, 74% of young women (i.e. high-school aged and lower) express interest in STEM (technological) courses and career paths, but by the time decisions need to be made about taking those classes in college, only 18% choose STEM/computer science pathways. (And that’s actually dropped: in the 1980s, women held 37% of computer science degrees, for example.) 

    What can be done about the technology gap for women? Continue Reading

  • Diversity recruitment lessons from law enforcement: Inside the research

    March 06, 2017 by

     

    College Recruiter is introducing a regular feature called “Inside the research”. We will dive into recent research that can be applied to practitioners in recruitment, HR and talent acquisition. 

    Policing and race relations are topics of national interest these days. A study from the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice1 looked at how several law enforcement agencies market their opportunities to communities of color, and their success in diversity recruitment. Drawing a parallel between police and corporate recruitment highlights just how much effort recruiters must put into hiring diversity. That is, if you want results. Here are six lessons that recruiters can glean from this study.

    Understand that institutional racism is around us. “Police agencies have been criticized for what is perceived as institutional racism in the recruitment, retention and promotion of Blacks and other racial minorities,” write the authors of the study, titled “Recruiting for Diversity in Law Enforcement: An Evaluation of Practices Used by State and Local Agencies.” While police have been in the hot seat, recruiters of all sectors and industries must turn the mirror upon themselves. Many would agree that institutional racism exists in business across the board.

    Put your money where your mouth is. The authors write, “Today’s typical police recruitment campaign is managed almost exclusively using advertisements in those news publications that cater to the greater (White) community at large.” As a recruiter you might be thinking, but we advertise across many different channels, including Facebook, which is very diverse! That may be true, but try doing a little exercise. Compare all the places where you advertise, and how much money you spend on each channel, to your recruitment goals. If you have a goal around diversity, you have to put your advertising dollars where your mouth is.

    Police agencies desperately want to hire diversity, precisely because they know they have a trust problem with communities of color, particularly the African American community. The study points out what should be common sense: “When citizens see that a police department has personnel who reflect a cross-section of the community, they have greater confidence that police offers will understand their problems and concerns” (Streit, 2001). The study found, however, that these agencies are just not putting their money where their mouths are. There are points of contact in the community where recruiters may connect with more of their targeted candidates—churches, hair salons, shopping malls, for example—and yet the agencies studied here did not take advantage these opportunities.

    Be aware of hypocrisy. Companies who include diversity in their core values, and especially companies who flaunt their inclusive environments, would be wise to check their authenticity. The study reminds us of what we already know about policing: “when community partnerships are seen as being superficial, agencies risk alienating candidates who might be aware of hypocrisy where such activities are inconsistent with reality.” (Syrett & Lammiman, 2004). You should communicate your commitment to diversity, but just saying it doesn’t make it so. Effective diversity recruitment makes it so. Continue Reading

  • College Recruiter CEO to speak about gender diversity at NACE conference

    February 27, 2017 by

     

    Minneapolis, MN (February 25, 2017)—Interactive recruitment media company College Recruiter announced today that CEO Faith Rothberg will speak at this year’s conference for the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), held June 6-9 in Las Vegas. The NACE conference is for college career services and college recruiters to make new connections, develop new insight and skills and discover new business solutions. Rothberg will speak about diversifying the workforce.

    According to Rothberg, “When you pretend gender diversity doesn’t matter, your bottom line suffers. So recruiting and retaining women isn’t just the right thing to do – it is essential to increasing your profitability.  Including women in all areas of your organization adds valuable differing insights to solve our tough business problems.”

    As CEO of a technology driven business, Rothberg has an inspirational personal story to share. Her career has remained at the intersection between business and technology, both of which were male-dominated fields when she entered them and, unfortunately, remain so in 2017. After earning her MBA, Rothberg became a manufacturing information technology consultant in a job that required working out of construction trailers at manufacturing facilities. Rothberg now leads College Recruiter and takes pride in helping launch the early careers of college students, including thousands of young women. STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) are heavily dominated by men, and Rothberg will share about the challenges she has faced while climbing to the top.

    Although less attention is paid on this topic outside of STEM, many non-STEM industries are just as lacking in gender diversity. Rothberg will identify the industries and fields that are lagging, and discuss some of the research around why organizations need to diversify their talent pipeline. She will speak directly to recruiters who influence that entry point into the pipeline, as well as retention strategies.

    Rothberg’s focus for the discussion will go beyond merely discussing the problem. She will bring specific examples of how small, medium, and large organizations have successfully improved their recruitment and retention of women. She will discuss the implementation of innovative programs that will improve their recruitment and retention of female students and recent graduates.

    About College Recruiter

    College Recruiter believes that every student and recent grad deserves a great career. They believe in creating a great candidate and recruiter experience. Their interactive media solutions connect students and grads to great careers. College Recruiter is the leading, interactive, recruitment media company used by college students and recent graduates to find great careers. Their clients are primarily colleges, universities, and employers who want to recruit dozens, hundreds, or thousands of students and recent graduates per year.

    About NACE

    Established in 1956, NACE connects more than 7,600 college career services professionals at nearly 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide, more than 3,000 university relations and recruiting professionals, and the business affiliates that serve this community. NACE forecasts hiring and trends in the job market; tracks starting salaries, recruiting and hiring practices, and student attitudes and outcomes; and identifies best practices and benchmarks.

  • Diversity bonuses: do they work?

    November 16, 2016 by

    Employee happy with his bonusCompanies who understand the importance of hiring diverse employees are pouring millions into their Diversity and Inclusion efforts. One such effort is to offer a “diversity bonus” to recruiters or employees who make referrals. The results are mixed. In 2015, Intel started offering $4,000 to employees who refer women or minorities. It may have played a part in their increase in diverse hiring. Facebook tried to incentivize recruiters to recruit more diversity, and it doesn’t seem to be working. A third example isn’t actually a bonus but a mandate. The NFL’s Rooney Rule requires teams to interview minority candidates for coaching and senior football operation jobs. When they put the policy in place, there were six head coaches of color. Over 12 years, the NFL added 14. This does seem like progress, albeit a bit slow moving.

    Some love the idea of paying out for minority and women candidates. Some say it just doesn’t feel right. If you decide to invest in this approach, make sure to think through the risks and how to do it right.

    Continue Reading

  • Affinity groups: value to employee and employer

    October 26, 2016 by

    Group of different birdsAt a recent People of Color Job Fair, employers touted their welcoming workplaces. Many referred to their affinity groups as how they are inclusive of diversity. If offered genuinely, affinity groups can bring value to both the employee and the employer.

    Value to employees

    1. Take a rest from the code-switching. It can be lonely working in an office full of people who don’t look like you. Code-switching all day can be exhausting. (For those less familiar, “code-switching” is a daily practice for people who navigate two cultures. They adjust their dialect/language/mannerisms to fit into the surrounding culture without being questioned. NPR has a nice illustration of code-switching.) Affinity groups can offer relief for anyone who needs a space where it feels safer to express yourself freely. Groups are meant to bring people together who share a common interest or culture. Examples are veterans, women, African Americans and GLBT affinity groups. It’s about solidarity (“Why Women’s Spaces Matter”).
    2. Build your network. In your affinity group, you will probably find yourself networking with colleagues outside your immediate team. This can be helpful to your career. Especially for entry-level and younger employees, more experienced colleagues can give you advice and point you to resources.
    3. Build new skills. You don’t have to wait for a formal company training to learn new skills. Informal group discussions offer excellent opportunities to learn new tools, technology or best practices that can make you more effective and valuable at your company.

    Value to employer

    1. Boost retention of employees. Engagement is king. For those who claim that affinity groups look more like segregation than inclusion, consider how relieving it can feel for an employee to join an affinity group and feel at home with other colleagues who “get them.” That employee, in turn, may feel more positive about her work, thus stick around longer. In addition, group members can collaborate with management to discuss issues of recruitment and retention, and shed light on how to improve your practices. In this example, GLBT employees helped shape their organization’s benefit policy for domestic partnerships, making them more competitive.
    2. Get new consumer insights. Affinity groups can collaborate with management to discuss marketing solutions for consumers from their own community.
    3. Low-cost learning and development. Affinity group members share resources with each other, best practices, and new tools and technology. This no-cost informal learning is a nice supplement to expensive formal company training.
    4. Reap the benefits of diversity. Multiple studies point to the increased productivity and profits of diverse companies. However, if your work environment isn’t inclusive, these benefits remain out of reach. If managed well, affinity groups can be part of your inclusion strategy.

    Doing it right

    1. You can’t force affinity groups. They must be employee-led, and membership can’t be forced. If employees feel that the group has been too packaged without their input, you lose their buy-in and engagement.
    2. Give it time. The longer your organization has affinity groups, the more likely you will be able to align them to business goals.

    Veteran’s Day is November 11! Here are a few companies who have created affinity groups for veteransWant to keep up on the latest career and job search tips and trends for recent college grads? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connecting with us on LinkedIn, TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

  • Path to successful diversity program varies with company culture

    January 23, 2008 by

     

    Companies recognized for exemplary diversity may follow a core set of motives and behaviors, but best practices alone do not always contribute to a high level of diversity, according to a recent RAND Corporation study. “Numbers alone are an inadequate measure of diversity,” said Jeff Marquis, the study’s lead author and a political scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. To reap the true benefits of diversity — like enhanced productivity, profitability and overall job satisfaction — a company has to accept and integrate an inclusive diversity program into its social and business fabric.

    While diversity programs help boost raw diversity numbers — ensuring a racially and ethnically mixed workforce — they may fall short of promoting personal development and higher levels of job satisfaction among both minority and non-minority personnel, according to the report.

    The report, titled “Managing Diversity in Corporate America,” lays the groundwork for a fact-based approach to diversity management by determining to what extent best practices literature describe the ways to enhance a company’s diversity. Researchers found that companies often strive for surface diversity‚ by focusing on short-term recruiting to attain a certain percentage of minority employees, rather than seeking comprehensive diversity management programs.

    In determining what constitutes an effective diversity management program, the report compares the actual practices of eight successfully diverse companies ranked among Fortune magazine’s
    Best Companies for Minorities” against what existing diversity literature says about motivations and effective strategies for achieving diversity.

    The authors then made a second comparison, contrasting these companies against six others classified under Fortune magazine’s “Best Companies to Work For”–those recognized for their exemplary human resources departments, but not for their level of diversity. The selected companies were chosen to represent a mixture of different sizes, locations and industry types.Not surprisingly, firms recognized as leaders in diversity management were more likely than those known for their superior human resources practices to support strong diversity initiatives, the report concluded. And while best diversity companies favored diversity for reasons related to boosting business performance, best human resources companies stressed non-business reasons like an enhanced work environment that results from improvements in basic recruiting, retention and promotion programs.

    “Much of the diversity literature places a huge emphasis on diversity as a way of improving a company’s bottom line,” Marquis said. The relationship between performance and profitability is an important motivator for companies to adopt comprehensive diversity management programs, even if it is not the case in every situation.

    Besides motivations for diversity management, both groups differed in terms of implementing best practices concerning leadership and methods of evaluation, according to researchers. The best diversity companies generally fulfilled all or the majority of best practices, while the best human resources companies fulfilled none or just a few of the best practices.

    The study also highlighted the limitations of existing diversity literature, pointing out that it lumps all companies together, rather than taking into account each unique company’s unique goals, resources, number of employees, business locations, product lines and customer bases.

    Among other key finding of the study:

    • Best diversity companies were concentrated in certain industries, such as accommodation/food and arts/entertainment, while best human resources companies tended to be in the health care and professional services sector.
    • Factors that may have a significant impact on a company’s level of diversity include its size, age and geographic location.

     

    The study was conducted in the public interest and supported by RAND using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of its donors and the fees earned on client-funded research. Other authors of the report are Nelson Lim, Lynn M. Scott, Margaret C. Harrell and Jennifer Kavanagh. 

    The study was done through RAND Labor and Population program, which examines issues involving U.S. labor markets, the demographics of families and children, social welfare policy, the social and economic functioning of the elderly, and economic and social change in developing countries.

    The report is available at http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP206/.

    The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit research organization providing objective analysis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world.