Employer Branding in Regard to Career Aspirations of Males and Females

Women make a significant part of modern organizations. Their focus has shifted from traditional, seasonal and female-oriented job roles to general or so called ‘male-oriented’ job roles. Their participation in the workforce cannot be ignored. Rather young women are surpassing men in almost all aspects of employment.

However, men and women, despite obtaining similar education, working in same roles and placing almost the same importance on their careers, have different aspirations and goals. Not because one is superior to the other, but because they are completely different from each other, they have different career goals.

Since organizations can’t afford to be gender-specific, they need to work towards building a clear strategy to establish their employer brand in a gender-diverse work environment. More precisely, they need to customize their branding, with respect to the career aspirations of males and females, to hold a competitive edge.

Importance of Career for Men and Women

Like men, even women place more importance in their careers. A study conducted by Pew Research Center shows that 66% of women between 18-34 years say that being successful in a profession is one of the most important things in their lives while only 59% of men say that their career is very important.

Although women haven’t surpassed the percentage of men in workforce but on the education front, they have left behind men long ago. Again the point here is not to argue who’s superior to who or who’s more capable. Rather, this is to show that soon women would make half of the workforce. And this is a factor that companies cannot ignore, if they want to attract the best talent. To establish a strong employer brand they need to tailor their policies and strategies.

Customizing Employer Brand Strategy

The employer brand strategy can be customized when companies know what men and women want from their careers. Also, understanding of their fears and turn-offs helps further tailoring the strategy.

Universum, an employer branding academy released a report lately, revealing that both men and women place work-life balance above than any other attribute. Regardless of the field of employment, they want to associate themselves with companies that deliver work-life balance. And beyond this, they have different aspirations and requirements.

The study was conducted in 12 largest economies of the world on 240,000 business and engineering students from the leading universities across the world. So, let’s now look into what men and women want from their employers and what their biggest fears are.

What Inspires Women ?

After work-life balance, there are a number of factors that motivate women to work for an organization. These include:

  • Career Security: Women want security in their careers. They value commitment more than anything.

  • International Element: Young women don’t want to remain confined to a particular city or region. Rather, they want to explore the world and work opportunities cross borders. The study shows that international element adds to the attractiveness of a particular job role.

  • Moral Component: Women are more interested in doing a greater good than men. They place more value in the moral component of their job. According to the Universum study, the percentage of women wanting to serve a greater good as a part of their employment is almost 11% higher than their male counterparts.

  • Gender Diversity: Female job seekers expect gender diversity at the organizations they wish to work for. While only 5% of men value gender diversity at workplace, more than 20% women consider it to be very important.

  • Environmental Sustainability: Again, women professionals cite it as a very important factor that motivates them to work at an organization. Almost 10% more women place importance into environmental sustainability than their male counterparts.

These are the factors that women find most desirable. However, the list doesn’t end here. They also seek purpose, innovation, autonomy, leadership and maternity benefits.

What Motivates Men ?

Again, men consider work-life balance the most important attribute of their employment. After this, they place more value in:

  • Leadership: As opposed to women, men place more importance in personal fulfillment. They value leadership and managerial opportunities more than anything. In fact, 43% men as compared to only 32% women want to be either managers or leaders in their jobs.

  • Intellectual Challenge: Men demand more challenging job roles as compared to their female counterparts. This is because they want to be recognized as entrepreneurs or experts in their fields.

  • Innovation: The companies that value innovation, speed and performance are the ones that attract men. Male job seekers place high emphasis on advancement, development, expansion and inventions.

  • Prestige: Prestigious organizations see more influx of men because male job seekers consider the reputation of an organization as very important. In fact, 38% men value it in an organization over 28% women.

  • Responsibility/Accountability: Male job seekers want to undertake more responsibilities at workplace. They take it as a way to grow up and grow fast.

These are major factors that motivate males to join an organization. However, there are other factors too, such as compensation and benefits, promotions and autonomy that they are important to them.

De-motivating and Fear Factors

Various studies and surveys have found that younger generation wants to work for companies whose values resonate with theirs, which provide conducive work environment, where they can learn and grow, contribute to the community, and grow personally and professionally, which take care of their needs and allow them to pursue their interests.

Their greatest fears are lack of growth, lack of purpose and opportunities to learn and bring out their hidden potential. They do not want to remain confined to particular JDs and roles. Rather they want to explore other areas too.

Positioning of Employer Brand

Youngsters want jobs that resonate with their personal beliefs and interests. Therefore, as an employer, you need to pitch yourself separately for male and female job seekers. It requires an in-depth understanding of what they need, what interests them and what they want to pursue.

It’s not only the job of HR managers or recruiters for that matter. Rather it requires a collective effort and more streamlined strategy to position your employer brand. Make sure to:

  • Place more trust and effort in your purpose rather than your products and services. This means that you, as an employer, are required to place more value into innovation, greater good and environmental sustainability.

  • Invest in personal growth of employees. Let potential talent know how important your employees are to you and what all programs you have in place for their personal growth and development.

  • Add moral component, safety and job security to employment. These are the attributes that female job seekers look for. They have a tendency to stick to a job for a longer period of time as compared to their male counterparts.

  • Display examples explaining how innovative and unconventional you are. Don’t just catch these buzz words; rather produce real life examples showing how you’re doing that.

You may also look for a niche that you think will work well in your situation. However, the conclusion is that what works for men may not work for women. And you can’t afford to ignore any of these. So, tailor your employer brand strategy to attract the two halves of the work population.


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