Welcome to our first newsletter!
In each newsletter I’ll cover just two topics, one on equality and one on candidate experience. This time around it’s the importance of storytelling and why men need to get involved in tackling gender issues.
There’s no way around it. Equality is a big, complex beast. There are so many facets - gender, ethnicity, age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, marital status, family obligations, religious beliefs, disability, different cognitive abilities.
And then you need to lay intersectionality, the fact people can belong to multiple under-represented groups, over it all.
With so much to do, where do you start?
Honestly, I don’t know. But it seems reasonable to begin with gender. After all, it’s the area that can have the greatest impact on the most people.
One incredibly useful resource is the book That’s What She Said (sold as Win Win in the UK) by Joanne Lipman.
The central message is that gender isn’t a problem for women to fix. It can’t just be left for women to speak up, to be more confident, to demand to be paid what they’re worth. It’s a problem for everyone. And men have a crucial role to play.
The book is incredibly well researched, citing studies on all the small, compounding differences that lead to a large gender gap. For example, parents are twice as likely to google ‘Is my child a genius’ for 2 year old boys than 2 year old girls.
The book also highlights many common workplace occurrences that men don’t notice (myself included before I read the book) and that women are all too aware of. Like how women are interrupted three times as often as men. Or when a man repeats a woman’s idea and gets credit for it.
Areas like this seem so simple, yet can have such a significant effect. Who gets the better performance review? Or promoted? Everyone needs to be aware of these issues.
Some of Joanne’s practical tips and takeaways for men and women to adopt:
🎧 You can get a great introduction to the book from Joanne’s interview on the Recode Decode podcast. Coming in at a little over an hour it’s a long one (they start talking about the book from 11 mins).
📰 Or if you prefer something to read, this is the article that sparked the book.
My friend is currently looking for a new job. A sales rep in a scaling tech startup, she’s talented and wants to work in a team where she can get better. But she’s struggling.
Not because she can’t find good jobs - there are plenty out there - the problem is that "they’re all the same." The same messages. The same job descriptions. The same experience.
How could these companies stand out? Speak to her? And make her want to be a part of the team?
They could tell a story. Not just about what their company does, but why. Why it’s important. And why my friend would want to be a part of it.
📰 The science of storytelling goes into how stories biological affect us and the reasons why they are so effective at conveying a message.
📰 If you, or maybe a sceptical colleague, need convincing, this article explains why you should be using storytelling in talent acquisition. In short, "stories get attention, stir emotions, make memories, and impact candidates’ decision making." 👉 It also includes LinkedIn’s storytelling framework.
🎧 In Recruitment Future Podcast, Matt Johnson makes a case for using storytelling in talent acquisition. He also shares his own story and some great examples of using stories in recruitment (John Deere is a favourite).
🎥 One of the key reasons stories are so effective is that they force us to focus on the ‘why’. Why does our company exist? Why is what we’re doing important? If you need help finding your why you can’t go past Simon Sinek’s Ted talk (even if you’ve seen it before it’s worth another watch).
🧬 If you want to learn something new, then learn from the experts - Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling. The foundation for every great story.
🎧 Paul Smith (not the designer, another one) interviewed 100 CEOs and executives on the stories they tell and use to find what’s effective in business. In this podcast he shares what he learnt and provides a structure to use:
📄 The short one - master marketer Seth Godin shares what makes a great story.
📖 The long one - HubSpot provides a comprehensive guide to storytelling. One nice addition is that it includes guides for different mediums - written, spoken, audio and video.
That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed it and if you have a minute, I’d love to hear your feedback. What worked, what didn’t, what you’d like more or less of. Just reply to this email.
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