Supporting Young Women into the World of Work
Posted by: Nicky Garcea & Alex Linley
This International Women’s Day, we believe that there’s no better time than now to explore the role that we can all play in encouraging and supporting young women to find their way in the world of work.
Here are our five top tips for how you can do so:
1. Help young women to identify their strengths – after many years at school, young women can be forgiven for thinking of their achievements only in terms of academic grades. Helping them early on to see that their strengths are more varied than this is key. Knowing their strengths will help them develop their authenticity and build their confidence as they start to explore the world of work.
2. Talk about work – at Capp, we see a marked difference in the graduates and school leavers that we meet. There are some whose parents or family members have spoken to them about work and the jobs that they do, and others who haven’t had so much of this exposure. Developing a level of commercial awareness at an early age can be a real differentiator when it comes to a first interview.
3. Make connections – the chances for business-focused work experience are becoming more rare, as are the opportunities for weekend work. Never before has it been more key that we offer young people – and particularly young women – the chance to get into business and build their network. What a difference it would make if we could each make five work connections for a female school leaver so she can start building her career network and contacts now.
4. Mock interviews and assessment centres – it is often the case that women can feel alienated and perform less well during the selection process. Creating familiarity with different types of assessments can be valuable. Find examples of psychometrics on line, share interview questions you have been asked, and encourage the reading of financial papers and the business press.
5. Prepare the ‘work mindset’ – with a growing global emphasis on employability skills, it is clear that many school leavers and graduates lack the vital business skills they need for their work experience or in their first job. Describing the attributes of the people you work with who are highly engaged and productive can help job seekers hear what the best employees are like. Share how these people manage their profiles at work, what they do, and what they don’t. In particular, prepping young women to be prepared to work hard and learn from everything they do, and the mistakes that they make, will create a solid foundation for them to build on.
We urge you today - and for the weeks, months and years that follow – to consider how you might help a young woman that you know to realise her full career potential. We hope our five top tips for doing so provide a useful starting point.