Many employers want to make real improvements to gender equality and diversity, but choosing which actions to implement can be challenging. There’s a gap between established practice and evidence.
For example, employers could be forgiven for thinking that adding one woman to a shortlist is an effective way to hire more women into senior positions – but a recent study from academia suggests that if there is only one woman on a four-candidate shortlist, there’s a 0% chance she’ll be hired.
This shows that much of what we assume will work to improve gender equality may not actually be effective. Outcomes can be counter-intuitive, and positively-intended actions can even backfire if they activate stereotypes rather than change behaviour.
The good news is that we’re starting to build a picture of what is likely to work, based on existing evidence. Last week I presented some of the latest evidence on what works – and what doesn’t – at our Gender and Behavioural Insights launch event.
We’re also preparing evidence-based guidance for employers as part of our collaboration with the Government Equalities Office. Subscribe to our mailing list to be among the first to read it.