This week Milkround hosted a Graduate Candidate Compass Insight Breakfast at Foyles bookshop. Several topics were covered, which provided insight into the hopes, fears and expectations of graduates in their careers. WISE, a campaign for gender balance in STEM spoke about how they’re seeking to encourage more women into these roles, from the classroom to the boardroom.
- How can larger corporations utilise start-up style culture to attract graduates?
Graduates are attracted to the start-up style cultures as they like the idea of being able to have an impact in a way not always possible in larger corporations. Allowing them the scope to produce work with real significance, will give them a sense of responsibility and encourage them to learn more quickly. It’s also important to provide them with context for their work in order for them to see what they are contributing in the bigger picture of the business. Encourage brainstorming and creativity, as giving graduates space to express their ideas demonstrates that their input is valuable.
- Gender disparities
There are stark differences in the percentage of females who are concerned about personal barriers to their dream careers when compared to men. Overall there was a higher percentage of females who considered personal factors to be barriers, such as lack of work experience, low starting salary and mental health. The biggest contrast can be seen in lack of confidence, with 41% of females believing this to be something that would hold them back, and only 28% of males reporting the same. This confidence is further reflected in salary expectations. 5% of males expect to earn £100,000 in the next five years, with only 1% of females expecting the same.
While a similar number of females (92%) and males (94%) believed technology will impact the jobs of the future, only 49% of females are interested in a career in technology, while 74% of males are.
- Ways of promoting women in technology
Visibility is key in encouraging women into roles in technology. The more that women in technology are celebrated and seen by graduates, the more likely it is they will consider a career in technology. Some ways in which to make women more visible in technology is to share day in the life profiles on company websites and social media to highlight the successes of women in these businesses.
- Matters of importance for graduates
Mental health features highly on the list of concerns and things that are important to graduates. 18% of females believe mental health could be a barrier to their dream career, while 11% of males said the same. Along with pension (70%) and healthcare schemes (47%), 44% of graduates would expect employers to provide mental health care. Student Minds is a charity that supports mental wellbeing for students and professionals. Through their research they have found that if employers support young recruits early on in their careers, they are likely to build a more resilient work force for the future. Factors that can contribute to better mental well-being and lower stress levels include: graduates having a manger who is interested in their personal development, graduates feeling comfortable taking a break for lunch and graduates being made to feel included in work-related social activities.