Organizational Wellness

Improve Your Organization’s Recruiting: How to Attract Women at Work

Sep 20, 2023
Last Updated Feb 13, 2024

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are words you probably hear about often. There’s a good reason for that: DEI efforts are good business. Attracting talent is important to any organization, but attracting diverse talent is also important. 

That’s why we’re going to take a deep look at recruiting women to work for your organization. Gender diversity is an important part of your DEI work. So let’s dive into how to attract women at work!

Diverse Recruitment

Why Make a Special Effort to Attract Women?

So why should you even make a special effort to attract women to work at your organization? 

Well, one reason is that women are powerful in the workforce. Seriously. Companies with women in top leadership roles can increase the company’s profits and shares by up to 50%. Having women at your company (especially in leadership positions) will actually drive your company to perform better. 

That’s a pretty good reason to make a special effort to attract women to your organization. But maybe you’re wondering if making a special effort it’s really necessary. Shouldn’t fair recruitment and hiring processes enable women to fill roles at your company? 

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for two intertwined reasons: women who are also working parents are responsible for unpaid labor that can complicate recruitment, and the pandemic exacerbated those difficulties. Essentially, moms have a lot on their plate, and Covid-19 has only made balancing home and work more difficult. 

That’s only the beginning of it, really. Women also suffer from disproportionate job loss. Every job lost in December 2020, for example, was held by a woman — while men gained jobs. The workforce isn’t inherently fair, so you can’t rely on “fair” recruitment strategies to give you a 50/50 split between men and women. Instead, companies need to make a special effort to attract women to their workplaces. 

But how do you do that? How do you make a special effort and attract women to your workplace? We’ve got nine tips for you to help you attract women and improve your recruitment efforts. 

  1. Make an Active Effort to Recruit Women

Finding talent can always be a challenge, but to succeed at attracting women you have to make a deliberate and active effort to recruit them. Doing so starts with your job postings. According to a diversity and inclusion expert, you might find you can attract more women if you leave out words like “rock star” and “aggressive,” instead choosing words like “flexibility” and “progressive culture.” 

You should also make sure you’re placing your job ads where women will see them. Don’t know where that is for your industry? It might take a little research to determine where women might see job advertisements, but it’s worth it to be able to recruit from the right pools. Consider looking at women’s groups, connecting with candidates through your current female employees, and more. 

2.  Provide Promotions and Career Advancement 

Women make up half of all entry-level sales positions, but they make up less than 30% of leadership. Don’t let your organization fall victim to this pitfall by providing clear opportunities for career advancement. Here’s the thing: having clear promotion opportunities can actually help you attract women to your organization. Why? Women want to be in leadership positions. In fact, leadership is the second most important aspect for women looking for a job. 

So by providing promotions, you are able to attract women to your organization. Plus, having more women in management then boosts your company performance, like we mentioned earlier. So everyone wins. 

  1. Support Employee Wellbeing 

Wellbeing is now a workplace priority and facilitating it is important for attracting women. While the pandemic took a toll on everyone, it hit working parents especially hard. They want a company that cares about their wellbeing, so cultivating a culture of wellbeing is a way for you to be the company where women with children want to work. 

Another benefit of supporting employee wellbeing is that it can help you combat burnout with empathy — something that’s particularly important with your female employees. Working moms are more likely than working dads to say they’re burned out, but about 50% of U.S. employees writ-large are experiencing burnout. Everyone benefits when you support wellbeing.

  1. Provide Educational Training for Male Coworkers

About 42% of women have experienced discrimination in the workplace because of their gender. You can help lower that start by training your male employees to identify and combat sex-based discrimination and harassment. Programming can address topics like unconscious bias through special seminars or regular training courses. Whatever form it takes, try to push past issue awareness and provide issue solutions. This helps everyone understand what they can do in their day-to-day role to build a more equitable workforce

  1. Build DEI Resources 

Unfortunately, two-thirds of women of color are unsatisfied with their companies’ DEI efforts. This means building your DEI resources is a way you can better be able to attract and retain women of color, as well as any women who want to work for a company that prioritizes diversity and inclusion. And remember: Gender is just one type of diversity, so improving your DEI will also help attract many other great employees. 

  1. Offer Schedule and/or Location Flexibility 

Prior to the pandemic, schedule and location flexibility might have been a luxury, but now it’s an expectation. Four out of five companies offer employees some kind of schedule flexibility, and many also offer location flexibility as well. 

Workplace flexibility is a strong recruitment tool, and this is especially true for women. Some of them are caregivers. Some are mothers. Some are just balancing a lot, because life happens. Scheduling and location flexibility is a great way to show that your company cares about them and will support their needs. If they need scheduling flexibility to take kids to school or location flexibility because the daycare is closed on Fridays, for example, your organization can enable them to better meet the expectations of their home and work lives. And not only can that flexibility draw women to your company, it can help keep them there.

  1. Provide Help for Caregiving Women

About 75% of caregivers in the United States are female. Caregivers are incredibly valuable — it’s estimated they provide $470 billion in unpaid labor. That means your company needs to be able to support caregiving women to be able to attract them to work at your company. Here are some ways to provide help: 

  • Work to understand their challenges. It might be time, it might be emotional challenges like depression and isolation. Understanding exactly how they are struggling is the first step in finding how you can be part of the solution.
  • Set up an employee support group. An ERG for caregivers can help them find the support they need at your organization. 
  • Create an inclusive culture. Caregivers might be afraid to speak up about what they need, but if you have an inclusive culture, they are more likely to do so. 

  1. Offer Paid Parental Leave 

Too many women have to take unpaid leave to start or expand their family. Offering paid parental leave supports women in the workplace by providing them with economic security as they start their family. Offering parental leave — which includes paternity leave, not just maternity leave — also shows that your company does not expect women to be the sole caregivers in their families. 

This is one one of the best ways to show your commitment to supporting women and their families. Here’s how to implement a parental leave policy

  • Get HR involved and make sure you work together
  • Understand laws and regulations around parental leave
  • Establish guidelines
  • Include guidance for how to use the policy
  • Roll the policy out to employees

As you establish parental leave, don’t forget to plan on how you’re going to support women returning to the workplace after a break of any kind.

  1. Put Women in Leadership

Remember how women in leadership improves profits? That’s not the only reason why you should put women in leadership. Women in leadership can also help you attract more women to work at your company. 

Think about it this way: If a woman looks at your company and doesn’t see any women in management or leadership, she might not be able to visualize how she can become a leader at your company. And like we mentioned earlier, women want to be leaders.  Having women in leadership enables other women to better see themselves at your company. 

Supporting Women’s Wellbeing at Work

Women are a powerful force for good and growth at your company. To attract more women to work at your organization, you need to put forth a deliberate effort. As we discussed, one of the key ways to attract women (and talent in general) is to focus on wellbeing. 

Luckily, you don’t have to figure out how to create a wellbeing-first culture on your own. We’re here to help you! Talk to a wellbeing specialist today to get started. 

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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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