How to Attract and Retain Female Talent in 2020

How to Attract and Retain Female Talent in 2020

Today, one size really does fit one. Worker requirements vary by age, gender, geography and where they are in their career lifecycle. More pay, flexibility and challenging work are non-negotiables for all but there are additional levers UK employers can, and should, pull to attract and retain diverse and in-demand talent.

More women are working today than ever before. Over two-thirds (71.8%) of women in the UK aged 16-64 are employed, the highest percentage since the Office of National Statistics began recording this data in 1971. With more women than men now pursuing higher education in the UK, it is more important than ever that businesses carefully consider recruitment strategies and employee benefits which will attract women to join their workforce.

In order to find, build and sustain the best talent, companies need to know what the workers of today want. Businesses need to make a conscious effort to align their workforce demands more closely with the needs and desires of workers.

The research

Our What Workers Want 2020 research gathers the responses of 14,000 individuals across 15 countries to develop a well-rounded understanding of what matters most to workers today and how these factors vary between demographics.

The 2020 survey asked women of varying ages what attracts them to an organisation and what factors motivate them to stay. Given options including ‘flexible hours’, ‘pension and savings benefits’, ‘challenging work’ and 14 other leading employee desires, the following offers a concise breakdown of how aspirations and motivations vary by age group as well as those leading factors which appear to be prioritised by female workers of all ages.

Gen Zs (age 18-24)

Money matters most

Gen Zs are ambitious, hungry for cash and career development. Women at this age consider flexible working and skills development to be key priorities. As more university-education women enter the workforce than men, women are aware of their value and rights and know that money matters.

Millennials (age 25-34)

Flexibility is crucial to her

While women continue to prioritise salary at this point, the desire to develop skills and further their careers sit just behind, demonstrating this age group’s understanding of the long career they have ahead of them and the necessity to continually upskill.

Gen Xers (age 35-54)

For anyone who cares: flexibility = well-being

With 75% of mothers with dependent children in work and care of the elderly on the rise, it is not surprising that this is when the quest for balance becomes a higher priority. Both men and women want options such as a flexible start and finish to their day to accommodate family responsibilities, the ability to work remotely, and the option to share parental leave.

Boomers (age 55-64 and 65+)

Loving leaders and teams

Whilst still largely motivated by pay, Boomers are also driven by challenging work, flexibility, good leaderships and great teams. Older workers want to enjoy their work, with women between 55-64 in particular looking for a great place to work. Employers cannot rely on promotions as workers age, they need to diversify and segment their learning strategies to engage Boomers intent on working longer and later.

How to give workers what they want

In today’s tight labour market, talent can call the shots and employers need to shift their demands to more closely match the supply. Businesses need to understand people’s needs and desires. Getting it right up front will help companies ensure they are able to retain and develop talent for the long term.

Download the complete What UK Workers Want report to discover five key ways employers can give workers what they want in 2020.