We would like to hope that gone are the days of ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’. The saying may be around for a while longer, however; the basic premise of the book revolving around the fundamental differences between the sexes is less relevant when it relates to careers and aspects of the recruitment process.
There will always be differences between how people search, interview, negotiate and accept new career opportunities but, it does not necessarily relate to their gender. We, as a team have openly discussed this sensitive and controversial topic and dare to share our thoughts.
Years ago, it was not uncommon to work your entire career with the same employer as job hoppers were seen to be unreliable. Now, people typically change jobs as least a few times through their careers. Flexibility, wellbeing and finding a work life balance has become common reason for career moves for both men and women as there are more shared responsibilities in their personal lives.
The Job Search
There are different approaches one may choose to start their search. Historically, it would have been reviewing the jobs listings in the newspaper, now it is predominantly a digital search. Our google analytics shows a subtle difference between gender users where in 2020, 52% of our users were female and 48% male. Where we find the difference is within our social media, specifically Facebook as 79% of our fans are female. As a recruitment agency, we do not note gender so we can’t share the different percentage of candidates registered but we do see a good mix. We have however discussed, that men are more typical to openly network with others in search for opportunities in comparison to a more reserved approach by females. Saying this, both are very likely to refer and recommend to agencies and employers to help friends/acquaintances in their search.
We can share in our own experiences that when an opportunity is presented, we typically review the job details differently. Men will generally look to fulfil just over half of the job criteria before applying where most women have felt the need to meet 100% of the criteria before sending their details for consideration. This in itself precludes them from many positions that they could potentially fill.
The Interview Process
Interviews can be stressful; the preparation alone can be daunting for some. Appearance can be critical, what to wear, makeup, hair, jewellery, and we hate to say it, will relate more to women than men. In the past, it was almost common to ask a female if they plan on starting a family, no wonder a woman can feel more anxiety leading up to an interview and yet can still perform just as well to their male counterparts.
Gender equality in the workplace – are we there yet? No, but there has been progress. People in general, are more confident to negotiate for their value and worth or choose to walk away if an offer is not right. The mould may not be broken yet, but it is certainly changing. Every individual is different and no matter how one identifies, there will be differences of how each approach a job search and their career.
Duncan Newton & Sarah Parry