Tweet Share Whatsapp Email #BreakTheBias is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day. As a recruitment company, Lewis Sanders has a very unique window to gender equality issues, so to celebrate this year’s theme, we asked some of our very own team members to share their views. In this second part of three, Joyce Lee, Senior Consultant at Lewis Sanders, shared her thoughts with us. Joyce has a strong track record of placing legal professionals and business support candidates across Asia at international law firms, MNCs, and financial institutions. After graduating from the University of Bath with a BSc(Hons) in Sociology, she had a career in marketing before moving into recruitment in 2018. As a recruiter, how do you break the bias when selecting candidates for your clients? As a start, having an accurate and objective job description for the role is important. This gives me a clear guideline to follow, which means I’m more likely to stay unbiased when sourcing candidates. Next, in conjunction with other search methods, I use technology-based tools, which can also help curb the tendency for gender stereotyping. For example, by using appropriate keywords that focus exclusively on skillsets and experience, platforms like Linkedin are able to generate candidate matches in a way that looks beyond gender, ethnicity, age etc. Any suggestions as to how hiring managers can approach interviews to avoid bias? We are all influenced by our unconscious biases – it’s inevitable. This means we are bound to make decisions based on our gut feelings to some extent. Therefore, in my opinion, hiring managers can try to minimise this by standardising their recruitment process as much as possible. Although interviews are often flowing conversations, hiring managers can consider setting aside a fixed set of questions that they will ask every candidate at some point in the conversation, and place a significant weighting on how candidates answer those specific questions. In addition, standardised written tests and psychometric assessments can also be introduced, ideally evaluated in a “blind” manner by a third party. All this should help hiring managers make more objective and structured decisions, as well as give all candidates the same opportunity to be considered for a role. What advice would you give to female candidates entering a male dominated firm or industry? Be confident, empathetic, work hard and respect each other. I believe when you are approachable and perform well, you will eventually leave a positive impression on your co-workers in any workplace. Also, don’t hold back from doing nice things for fear of coming across “weak”. Do all the generous things you would ordinarily do in any workplace – bring food to share, offer to buy coffee, organise cakes and drinks on people’s birthdays etc. I’m sure there are nice things unrelated to food, just that this is what’s on my mind right now!