Would you hire a woman?

Janet Hillis

In this day and age, you wouldn’t expect to hear those words. But as anyone who’s worked in recruitment will know, the same recruiters who claim to support equal pay are often happy to work with clients who are blatantly sexist in their recruitment processes.

“But I’M not sexist. It’s my client.”

There’s a disturbing level of double-think out there. Some recruiters who consider themselves gender inclusive will also cater to the discriminatory criteria of their clients. ‘It’s not my fault they only want men for this role’ – it’s scary how often recruiters justify it to themselves, and keep working the role.

It happens across all sectors, but particularly in male-dominated industries. Some males experience the same type of discrimination when applying for roles in female-dominated industries. Whichever way it happens, we need to call out this behaviour. Recruiters have a critical role in ensuring equitable and inclusive representation.

It’s not okay to ‘just go along with it.’

Recruiters have a choice. 
It’s a choice between enabling sexism, or rejecting it. And the more recruiters who confront discrimination when they see it, the less often hiring managers will think it’s ‘okay’ to perpetuate sexist hiring practices.

Speak up. Say ‘no’. Take that candidate elsewhere.

Let’s be clear

If you’re screening out female candidates, you are breaking the law. If you hesitate to represent a part-time mum, you are being sexist. If you laugh at your client commenting ‘She’ll probably get up the duff,’ you are actively supporting the stereotypes and prejudices that underpin one of our society’s biggest problems.

Because when it comes to discrimination, we’re all equally responsible for doing the right thing.


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