Book Review: What Works: Gender Equality By Design by Iris Bohnet

The topic of Gender Inequality has been addressed by several books in recent years, often coming from different theoretical and ideological backgrounds. Broadly we can find two extremes: a) the corporate self-help strategies of leaning in and b) the revolutionary defiance of leaning out. The work of Iris Bohnet finds a place for itself based on a vast and comprehensive review of research across the social sciences. Focusing on inequalities primarily within workplaces and schools, she does not try to position herself into one or the other ideological fields. Instead, she emphasises the complementarity of a behaviourally-based and empirically-driven approach with broader feminist strategies. The author focuses on de-biasing environments rather than individuals as a solution to tackle gender inequality. By identifying behaviours and processes that take root in institutions and explicating how they impede gender equality, it may be possible to intervene and design around the point at which bias is most likely to take hold. This approach, often identified as ‘Nudging’, allows for faster achievements, moving the needle through quick wins in faster …

Need number 1: Hire Good Candidates (and get them onboard fast)

So, now that you know you should not be using the word “Talent” anymore, how do we approach the quest for the “best candidate” for that vacancy you have in your organisation? Stop looking for the Best candidate. Well, first of all by avoiding to look for the “best” candidate. It does not exist. For the very simple reason that finding a person that perfectly fits a) a job description, b) the unexpressed desires of its managers, c) the expectations of HR and d) the wished on any further involved stakeholder, simply does not exist. Yet, in this quest for “talent”, HR organisations have very often delivered a very negative service to the business, based on the (wrong) assumption that “even if we take a bit more time, we’ll get the best candidate, so that it will start delivering faster“. So what we have observed is an increase in the time-to-fill benchmark, both in the US and in Europe. Even if you just take the 2011 Linkedin Survey Results, data shows that there is an …