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Businesses must use training and technology to remove gender discrimination from recruitment practices, according to diversity consultancy, The Clear Company.

In light of a recent survey from graduate recruitment app, Debut, which revealed that more than 40% of women faced inappropriate questioning during the hiring process, the diversity and inclusion specialist has urged employers to consider upskilling interviewers to refresh their understanding of what is and isn’t appropriate. The firm further recommended that organisations incorporate technology where possible to assess and manage talent objectively in order to reduce unconscious bias.

The Clear Company also used these findings to remind business owners of the potential legal implications of incorrect hiring procedures, as the consultancy’s Director, Kate Headley, explains:

“UK law states that candidates cannot directly be asked about their health, love life, age or plans to have children during the recruitment process, yet this practice still occurs. The Debut survey revealed that 27% of women had been asked about their relationship status – each of these interviewers were inadvertently breaking the law, potentially due to a simple misunderstanding as to what is and isn’t deemed acceptable.

“If this is allowed to continue, companies will be exposing themselves to extreme risks and could face legal action for inappropriate hiring practices. By incorporating the correct training of interviewers and the use of technology to manage assessment, it’s possible to remove much of this risk and improve the company’s employer brand.

“The examples cited in these reports – including one from Carol Vorderman whose physical attributes were quoted as a reason why she didn’t get a job – demonstrate that women are still facing severe discrimination in the hiring process. In my view this simply shouldn’t still happen in today’s world where inclusion is cited as a key priority for businesses and employers alike.”

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