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One Requirement Short, Women Shy Away From Applying For Roles

Browsing through your emails hoping that perfect job appears amongst dozens of job recruiter spam you spent a whole day giving details to, when—surprise surprise— you find only lack-luster career opportunities staring back at you.

You keep scrolling page to page where something catches your eye. There it is—the dream role staring right back at you– begging to be answered. It’s the perfect role, amazing salary, a company you could only dream to work for. The total package.

You click the link, scan the requirements and begin a mental checklist of all the skills you match with. Getting increasingly excited, you think you might be the perfect fit for the role when you notice one big discrepancy, you only have three out of the five years required experience. You think, better luck next time!

By: Fintech Futures, Sister Publication

If you haven’t already figure out by now, those who resonated with the above anecdote are likely women. According to multiple studies, women are the group most likely to not apply for a job if they believe they fall short of even one out of the 10 requirements on a job spec. This differs significantly when you compare males in the same scenario, as men are much more likely to go for a job vacancy if they meet only 60% of the attributes listed.

As a female, I admit to finding resemblance in this story. Recalling many points throughout my life where I found myself deep in imposter syndrome—feeling deflated comparing my lack of years of consecutive experience in the same role against the dream job roles I knew I could probably do, and do well. If a job description calls for 15 years experience as an SEO manager and SEO as a job hasn’t even been around that long—chances are slim prospective employers are expecting candidates to fit 100% of the criteria. I can only wonder how many great roles have been passed up by women who were likely qualified.

What is it about women that causes us as a gender to back down when facing the crossroads of a career jump?

Are we more honest as a gender? Maybe it’s the fact that we tend to be more risk-averse, worrying any inkling of failure spells our undoing.

Of course, it should be the responsibility and priority for powerful men and businesses to do their part to close the gender pay gap—but what are we doing as women to ensure we are meeting them in the middle? Without the confidence to seek after these top roles ourselves, we will continue being a part of the overall systematic problem. These are roles we often know we would excel in regardless of fitting the entire criteria.

In the wise words of impact guru and confidence expert, Esther Stanhope—with enough confidence, you can convince any interview panel you are the right person for the job. It’s all about highlighting what you can do, instead of focusing on the things you can’t do! If you’re the right fit for a role or company—your future employer will be more than happy to overlook the few requirements you might not meet.

For the good of the female workforce, just apply and get your foot in the door. If you happen to pass the CV stage and manage to secure an interview— utilize that open door by proving your specific skillset outweighs any challenges you might face in the role.

Time to put the words “we’re worth it” to practice! If women continue feeding the very system we’re trying to break free from, we’ll never see the change we hope for.

It’s down to our initiative and willingness to ignore that little voice in the back of our head feeding doubt. Get to applying ladies!


*This article first appeared on www.bankingtech.com.

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