Earlier this year, I gave a presentation on “Visual Storytelling in Gender Contrast” for the Competence Center Women and Work, in which I presented the results of our Storytelling Report regarding the visual representation of employees. For most of the participants, the analysis was a real eye-opener.
Visual storytelling in gender contrast
Background: We examined the DAX 30 for the first time in 2019 with regard to employer branding storytelling.
What particularly struck us at the time when we looked at the career pages was that women seemed to be portrayed mostly young, smiling, and rarely in high positions. While older men explained, one saw a conspicuously large number of women on the topic of work-life balance. In order to take an objective look at this gender distribution and, in particular, the image of women on career pages, we then analyzed in the Visual Storytelling Report how the 30 leading DAX companies depict employees on their job pages. The results clearly showed us why such analyses are (unfortunately) still necessary.
Authentic Female Employer Branding
So how do companies inspire today’s female applicants? What benefits do they use to convince female candidates to apply? And how do they use the power of stories to win women over to their ideas, values and vision?
The career pages of many companies are full of employee stories and happy teams are smiling at potential applicants everywhere. They should be able to identify with the stories in order to gain an authentic image of the employer. However, whether women really find themselves on the career pages depends on various components.
But one thing is clear about female employer branding: whether, how and which women are shown should not be a coincidence, but a conscious decision.
So what points do companies need to pay attention to when portraying future female employees? These 5 questions help to implement female employer branding with storytelling:
5 questions for female employer branding
1. Why should women want to work for us?
If you want to turn your team into real fans and attract really interesting applicants, you should avoid empty advertising slogans and fake models in glossy colors. On their job pages, employers are better off telling their story, their values, their vision and, above all, the people behind it all. This all serves to highlight the “why” addressed to job seekers.
Microsoft – „Do what you love“
A nice example of how the vision is prominently integrated on the career site comes from Microsoft. With the claim “Do what you love,” the technology company welcomes its visitors to its career site. In addition to the job advertisements, this page also bundles a wide variety of topics that provide a comprehensive insight into the company: from benefits to corporate culture to cultural diversity.
There are also links to more stories on Microsoft News and Microsoft Stories as well as special career pages on the social media channels. Whatever happens behind the scenes at Microsoft can be followed from different perspectives. And when the time comes to actually take a look at one of the advertised jobs, because the time has come to make the switch, applicants can return to the careers page from all these paths.
Find out how Microsoft used storytelling to usher in a new era of corporate communications and become a pioneer in brand storytelling in our Storytelling Close-Up.
2. What values are important to women and what do we stand for?
More and more frequently, we see campaigns or read articles by and about companies and their values. What they stand for, what they stand up for, and what is close to their hearts in everyday life. That doesn’t just come from anywhere.
The desire of many employees to find a job that also represents their ideals is constantly growing.
Women want to work for companies with which they can identify and where they can pursue and implement their private views in their professional lives in the same way.
Dell – Female Leadership
Employee stories are one of the most powerful tools for successful employer branding. Who else could represent the company and its culture better than satisfied colleagues? Thanks to good stories and campaigns, technology giant Dell seems like a pretty cool employer overall. And in its videos, it also positions itself on the topic of female leadership, in which – of course – female employees have their say. In addition to the many advantages of working there, so many other important values resonate, such as diversity, work-life balance, tolerance, empowerment, and internationality.