Here’s some advice on how to get more female candidates in the auto industry’s pool of job applicants, from panelists at Reuters Events’ recent “Celebrating Women in Automotive” webinar, sponsored by J.P. Morgan in recognition of International Women’s Day.
The moderator is Eliana Raggio, CMO for Dealer eProcess, a vendor specializing in dealership websites, e-commerce and other digital applications. Raggio is also a board member and brand ambassador for the Women in Automotive networking and advocacy group.
How to get more female candidates in the job applicant pool:
Start with the basics:
A good starting point is to measure your company’s current demographics, including gender, to establish a baseline, says Tiffany Hamilton, director, DEI and Learning & Development for TrueCar. “What are your demographics? That can help you understand where there are opportunities,” she says.
It sounds basic, but it also helps reinforce to recruiters and hiring managers how important their jobs are in the grand scheme of things, Hamilton says.
“Hiring managers and recruiters need to really understand what their role is in creating diversity,” she says. “Recruiters are accountable for deciding who’s in the candidate pool, and hiring managers are responsible for who’s actually hired.”
Be aware of keywords in recruiting ads:
Margaret Lane, executive vice president, Talent & Development Officer for Penske Automotive Group, says the group is aware of keywords in its help-wanted ads, realizing job descriptions are traditionally shaded toward males and are heavy on terms such as “challenging,” “demanding” and “money.”
Rather, ads should also talk more about “opportunities,” “teamwork” and “benefits,” Lane says, for the benefit of men as well as women. “Maybe we can get a larger pool, of maybe women, to apply.”
Train interviewers what to look out for:
Shravanthi Denthumdas, vice president of Engineering, Mobility & Emerging Technologies for Toyota Connected, says that in response to questions, women in interviews may talk more and reach their points in a more roundabout way compared with men, who are more accustomed to positive reinforcement for being direct and decisive.
“If women tend to talk a lot…women take a little longer to give a response,” she says. “Men in recruiting need to be cognizant. Don’t concentrate on how long it takes. Concentrate on the response.”
Don’t take no (female) for an answer:
Based in Luxembourg, Anne Grünkorn, CEO of J.P. Morgan Mobility Payments Solutions S.A., says she insists on at least one female candidate when she’s presented with a list of applicants. “I look: Do I have a female? It cannot be, that there is no female” qualified for a given job, she says. “I’m completely fair in the process” once the list of candidates is complete, she says. “But that beginning of the journey should be clear.”