Here's what businesses and workers can do to be more inclusive in recruitment and human resources processes:
1. New recruitment practices: If you need to participate in a hiring process, learn about new practices to be more inclusive.
2. Choice of words: Job descriptions should be composed of words that have a strong influence on the type of people who will apply for jobs. Tools are available online to analyze these texts and suggest words to replace those that sound more masculine or feminine.
3. An online hiring test: Companies can allow external candidates to take a hiring test on their Web site. If they do well, they will be invited to an interview without having to submit their CV.
4. Bringing together different employees: During a recruitment process, choose people from diverse backgrounds to pre-screen candidates.
5. Be open to candidates who may not have the typical profile you are looking for: whether because of their lack of experience, education, personality, or because they have an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
6. Attention to references: employees tend to recommend candidates with similar profiles to themselves, which is very detrimental to diversity. They should go through the same hiring process as everyone else.
7. Feedback and performance appraisals: Pay attention to the language used when providing feedback to employees or conducting performance appraisals; those for women are often more personal rather than constructive.
8. Recognize their potential: as is often the case for men, offer promotions to women who stand out because of their potential, not just because of their performance.
9. Avoid excluding colleagues who are different from you: for example, when you go out for coffee or dinner or during a group activity after work, invite anyone to join you, regardless of age, gender or ethnic origin.
Here are some tips to put into practice:
10. Ask yourself: Who is missing from the table? Whether it's a stage or a panel of speakers, if the initiative is not inclusive and accessible enough for everyone, simply decline the invitation.
11. Promote women and people from diverse backgrounds with successful careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM): young people, including girls, need inspiring role models. This will help build their confidence to pursue such positions.
12. Emphasize the social impact they can have by choosing careers in engineering: this is often a major factor in girls' choice of curriculum.
13. Participate in mentoring programs, either as a mentee, mentor or sponsor: men are also encouraged to become mentors to young women. Don't face the fear of being the target of gossip.
How to get involved in the cause?
14. If you study or work in STEM, you can get involved in raising awareness of the cause by participating in programs that promote STEM professions to youth in schools.
Some awareness programs:
- uOttawa's Engineering Outreach Programs
- Technovation Girls
- Women Powering Technology (WPT)
- Go ENG Girl
- Go CODE Girl
- Engineering Badge Days for Girl Guides, events organized by The Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE)
- The Ontario Society for Professional Engineers has launched an application, DiversifySTEM, which offers practical lessons for promoting diversity in the workplace.
- 17.5% of women were among the university graduates of architectural, engineering and related services programs in 1992.
- 35.2% of women were among university graduates from mathematics, computer and information science programs in 1992.
- Among Canadians aged 25 to 64, women accounted for 34% of bachelor's degree holders in STEM and 23% of science and technology workers in 2016.
- In 2017, women made up 22% of engineering students at the bachelor's level. They are most likely to choose specializations such as chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, biological engineering and environmental engineering.
- In 2017, women accounted for only 14% of students in mechanical, software and computer engineering.
- According to Engineers Canada, only 13% of licensed engineers in Canada are women.