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LIBRA Workshop in Gender-Inclusive Recruitment: A participants’ point of view

27 Mar 2017


By Marijke Lein, HR Director, VIB, Belgium


On January 26th 2017, together with the other HR experts of the LIBRA partner and associated institutes I participated in the LIBRA workshop on “Best practice in gender-inclusive recruitment processes” at CeMM in Vienna, Austria. The aim of the workshop was to give training and first-hand insight into the topic of unbiased recruitment enabling the goal of the LIBRA project to remove gender barriers in the hiring process of leading positions at research institutes.

We were warmly welcomed by the C-EMM team who had lined up some very interesting speakers confronting us with a nice combination of in depth research based insights and hands-on tips and tricks on how to make the recruitment process much more inclusive and transparent from the job ad onwards until the final decision phase.

To me, the workshop was a real eye-opener on several aspects of the hiring process, starting with the writing of a job ad. It is amazing how we all use to write our job ads in a very masculine way (yes, even us, all the woman in the room).  Together with the speakers we had the opportunity to re-write our job profiles in a much more inviting, unbiased and inclusive style.  This can be done by using a good balance between more masculine and feminine wordings and objective job requirements.  In the meantime, I re-wrote all VIB ads, aiming to find (junior) group leaders. I was happy to hear that my male colleagues found the new way describing the position and the job profile much more appealing to them too!

Secondly, we were guided through the full recruitment process with useful information on how to make up the questionnaires that people need to complete, how to include blind resume screening, how to invite people for the first interview (better to say “meeting”), how to compose the hiring panels (only one woman is the same is none), carefully consider who candidates meet, and finally how to make up an attractive job offer.

Attending this workshop was definitely worth the time and the travel. The workshop presentations and articles about the subject have already proven to be superb material to be used on a daily basis enabling us to create a much more inclusive way of attracting and retaining talent, both male and female.

Thank you LIBRA and the C-EMM team (Michaela, Binia and Anita) for the professional organization of the workshop, for inviting inspiring speakers and for your kind hospitality.