Positive Discrimination: A problem for candidates?

10 months ago by Julia Linder

Positive Discrimination: A problem for candidates?

Girl with her arms in the air above head with the sun shining through

In this article, our Consultant, Julia Linder, discusses the problems currently faced by women within Financial Advisory and beyond... 

Within the last month, two of the Big Four announced that they will no longer be accepting all-male shortlists during the recruitment process. The news comes after the governments mandatory gender pay reporting rules revealed shocking disparages between pay, whilst a government-backed review shamed Britain’s leading companies for using “pitiful and patronizing” excuses to keep women out of top jobs.

This move may be being dubbed as ‘positive discrimination’ however the figures show that it is more than necessary.

There are many reasons used for why women are failing to attain high-level roles, from discrimination due to maternity worries, to imposter syndrome, where women lack the self-confidence to challenge the norm and break that glass ceiling.

Whilst we can’t change the attitudes of hiring managers, of whom 37% admit they would only advertise positions to men if it was legal, we can ensure that we aren’t holding ourselves back… no matter how despondent the figures might make us feel.

At Goodman Masson, our Financial Advisory team have found that when recruiting roles, only 26% of profile matches on LinkedIn belong to women and unfortunately the numbers aren’t that uncommon. Women only make up 35% of LinkedIn users, meaning they’re already missing out on top roles falling into their laps. Ensuring a complete and relevant LinkedIn profile is crucial, especially when attempting to crack a sector such as Financial Advisory. (Click here to find out how to do it)

Research has also shown that even when looking for top-level roles, candidates are failing to utilize recruiters. Helping to combat imposter syndrome, a good recruiter won’t waste both of your time by putting you forward for roles you aren’t equipped for but will instead widen your potential pool.

Several studies have shown that men will apply for a role when they match 60% of the requirements, whilst women will attempt to fulfil 100%. A recruiter can, through their long-standing relationship with the client, identify the requirements that are less requirements and more ‘nice to haves’. Meaning you can forget about that 100% matching system.

It’s admirable that companies are taking the steps towards attempting to eradicate the gender skills, however we know the hurdles aren’t just making a recruiter’s shortlist. We’ve set up a Women in Finance group NTWK to help open the discussion around exactly what the other problems are and most importantly to support each other.  

Visibility is incredibly important for future generations, ensuring that they can see themselves reflected in these roles, which is why it’s great that in their efforts, one of the Big 4 have asked us to arrange calls between senior female members of staff and those who are on the up-and-coming.

They say that ‘slow and steady wins the race’, I disagree. I say, be the change that you wish to see in the world.

Click here to see what companies can do to help