Attracting people from the widest talent pool to traditionally male-dominated industries, such as financial services, is as much about convincing a new generation of women it has changed for the better, as it is about rules and regulations.
That’s according to the George McFerran of financial services industry recruiter efinancialcareers, who said the issue of attracting the best female talent is not just about compliance, but also perception. “Relying on compliance overlooks the need to win hearts and minds”, McFerran said.
The new Federal Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 will mean employers must report against a set of gender equality indicators, focusing on outcomes with CEO’s required to sign off on reports. Firms that do not comply face the likelihood of being publically named and shamed in Parliament.
McFerran said companies should be looking to differentiate themselves and stay ahead of the curve by introducing more flexible working arrangements. Efinancialcareers also commented that having female role models in senior positions is not enough. Firms need to be transparent about their equitable recruitment and selection policies, promotion, development and flexible working arrangements if they are going to attract women in proportional numbers to men. Firms prepared to step up and broadcast their gender equity practices coupled with campaigns that engage with women will ultimately be placed to attract the best and brightest to join them.