This blunder is killing your brand
One in ten women (13%) have been asked in a job interview about their plans to have children or their caring responsibilities over the past year, according to new research.
Moreover, 22% of these women think the asking and answering of such questions impacted their chance of securing the job, while a further 34% were unsure.
The research by Hays also found eight per cent of men surveyed also report being asked such questions in a job interview during the last 12 months. Of these, 10% think it impacted their chance of securing the job with another 35% unsure.
Adam Shapley, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand, said that while these findings reveal some signs of progress, the overall picture tells us we need to accelerate the pace of change to achieve “genuine workplace gender diversity and inclusion”.
“It’s unacceptable that some hiring managers still ask people about their caring responsibilities or their plans to have children,” said Shapley.
Additionally, 57% of women said there had been an occasion during their career when they felt their chance of being accepted for a job was lowered because of their gender.
The survey of over 1,000 working professionals across New Zealand and Australia was conducted as part of Hays’s 2018-19 Diversity & Inclusion Report.
Only 22% of women said their organisation actively works to develop underrepresented groups, specifically into leadership roles.
Just 36% of women said their organisation gives them access to mentors. Less than half (48%) of women say their career development conversations with their line manager are open and transparent.
While an almost identical percentage of women and men (50% and 49% respectively) ask their manager for career advice at least once a year, fewer women (48% compared to 55% of men) say they have regular two-way conversations with their manager about their performance and career progression.
On the bright side, 42% of respondents said their line manager is female, up from 39% in Hays’s 2017 diversity survey.
Shapley added that in any job interview, the focus should be on the competencies required for the role. People should not ask, or make assumptions, about a person’s commitments outside of work based on their age or gender.
“It’s also telling that less than half of women feel they have open and transparent career development conversations with their boss,” said Shapley.
“With relevant experience key to gaining a senior or executive role, women need to be able to talk through their career ambitions with their manager and be given opportunities to break through and gain the necessary experience.
“This could be through stretch opportunities or working with a mentor on a project, both of which give women the opportunity to gain the experience required to be considered a suitable candidate for more senior roles.”