How do you ensure diversity and equality in the recruitment process and in the general working environment?

læsetid 5 min

Diversity is the brand new hyped term that you come across everywhere.

The concept was seriously put on the Danish map at the Danish Diversity Awards – which were held for the first time this year – in ‘Industriens hus’.

Without squeezing too much juice out of the pineapple, it was actually Woba’s own CEO, Malene Madsen, who won the title of ‘CEO of the Year’ at the award show. Which we are insanely proud of.

But the title doesn’t come out of nowhere.

Because with Woba, Malene has built a company which, above all, has taken the fight for diversity and equality seriously.

At Woba, we are 50% men and 50% women, which is quite atypical for a tech company.

In addition, as a engagement tool, Woba is also specially developed to consider diversity and equality in the daily engagement work for our many corporate customers.

More on that below.

 

 

Woba as a means of stronger diversity

Engagement work is extremely important. No matter how you twist and turn it.

Especially right now in these times, when ‘The Great Resignation’ has made its way around the world. In other words, the trend where employees across industries, countries and roles have become much more aware of what they are looking for in a job, and that today people prefer to quit rather than stay at a workplace without the right framework and the desired well-being.

Studies show that more than 40% are considering quitting their job at this point.

These are serious numbers.

Especially for you as a business owner or HR manager.

Because losing an employee is expensive. It is estimated that a termination costs twice the employee’s annual salary!

Yes, AV.

So the well-being work is important. We have realized that.

But can we now also consider diversity and equality in that work?

It’s not something you can just do – it’s something you MUST if you want to keep up with the times and be a company that embraces diversity and manages to use that diversity to the company’s advantage.

The very first step is to take the temperature of the employees’ well-being – and at the same time gain an insight into how differences are handled and embraced. The best mouthpiece you have is your employees. And the absolute best voice is when your employees can express themselves anonymously.

Anonymity is required if you are to have the most effective starting point for strengthening diversity.

 

 

How do we do it ourselves? – a questioning framework of diversity

As I said, at Woba we fight fiercely for diversity and also do our part to ensure that our many corporate customers can do the same.

How do we do it?

We have drawn up a very special question framework, which is precisely based on diversity and equality in the workplace.

Here is a small section from the question frame, so you can get an insight and be inspired to focus on the topic yourself at your next well-being survey:

Everyone here is treated fairly regardless of race, gender, age, ethnic background, sexual orientation or other differences?

I find that we speak with respect to each other and not about each other (gossip/go behind our backs) regardless of race, gender, age, ethnic background, sexual orientation or other differences?

All people have the opportunity to succeed here?

I find that I can express my concerns and frustrations?

On a scale of 1-5, how safe and comfortable are you with expressing your opinion in a meeting – especially if you disagree?

I feel like I belong here?

What can we do to improve diversity and inclusion in our workplace?

If you include these questions in the well-being measurements, you will initially get clarity on how you currently manage diversity. And that, as you know, is the first step in the process – to become aware of how it all stands and where things should be put in place in the future.

 

Diversity in recruitment

It is important that diversity is taken into account right from the start. That is to say – already in the recruitment process.

This can of course be done in many ways, depending on the industry and segment.

Woba is a tech company and therefore already has a challenge with the gender balance, as only every fourth IT developer is a woman.

But that’s not what’s holding us back now. Because we WANT to work for equality and diversity. Therefore, we have a recruitment process where we require that for every qualified male applicant there must be at least one equally qualified female.

It takes patience and planning, but it pays off.

And that is one of the most important reasons why we are today a tech company with 50% women and 50% men.

It is also an option to invite directly in the job posting. You can help diversity a little by being completely open about the fact that all genders, ethnicities and religious beliefs are encouraged to apply for the given position.
Many times we are already put in boxes, also by ourselves – and therefore need a push to get beyond the edge of the stage.

If the notice directly encourages you to apply, if you are, for example, a woman, well then it will open up a safer and more secure process and most likely break down any barriers even before the application has been sent.

A little insight from the ‘CEO of the Year’ at the Danish Diversity Awards 2022

“We have to rethink the work with the working environment and recruitment, because we are missing out on innovation and good business by not all being the same!
Despite being in the tech industry, where only every fourth employee is a woman, we at Woba have succeeded in creating a workplace with 50% women and 50% men.

However, it is important to emphasize that diversity should not ONLY be about KPIs and numbers – because an organization can realistically only evaluate diversity and equality by creating an INCLUSIVE CULTURE that makes room for all employees to contribute on their own premises and can be themselves with their differences.

It requires consciously choosing, for example, an anonymous voice box such as Woba, where employees can contribute their knowledge to optimizing the working environment without fear of reprisals – and the company can thus always keep its finger on the pulse and evaluate whether the employees actually experience equality and room for diversity. ”

And the quote here also encapsulates the importance of diversity work starting in management.

It is not a task for HR alone. And so it is with all cultural changes. They cannot possibly succeed if it is not implemented in the higher air layers first and from there flows out into the rest of the organization.

And it takes time. But all it requires is a conscious choice and a clear decision. And from here, a consistent focus on the goal and the right discourse applies, so that the culture changes from within – slowly but surely.

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Employee Development Interview – part of the great engagement work

The employee development interview is your planned and close conversation with your employees.

According to Krifa, 85% of Danish companies hold annual employee development interviews.

And it’s a good idea, as these conversations are an important part of the big, essential well-being work.

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Louise Aarkrog
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You really don’t want to focus on yourself as a person and as an employee in this scenario. And what if you report something and it doesn’t lead to any action or consequences? What if those involved find out that it was you who reported the whole thing, how will the working environment be in the future?

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Employee Development Interview – part of the great engagement work

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Well, it probably goes without saying that the question frame is crucial for your engagement measurements.

The questions MUST reflect the company’s framework and be decidedly industry-specific. Otherwise, you might get an answer in the West, even if you ask in the East – and that doesn’t add much value in the end.

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