Most graduate employers are very fair in their recruitment practices and actively seek to recruit well balanced work forces. They are also well aware of the dangers of asking discriminatory questions at interviews. The following will help you identify female friendly employers:
- Talk to employees at fairs and presentations to get a feel for their approach.
- Are there case studies available of women succeeding?
- Are there women in senior management positions?
- Is the employer's literature and/or website actively promoting equal opportunities?
- Are there additional benefits particularly attractive to women, eg flexible working arrangements, childcare provision, etc?
Promotion obviously depends on lots of factors but in some organisations it can be subtly in favour of men. You can help swing the odds in your favours by:
- Networking - making the most of any networking opportunities. Many employers actively promote networking as its crucial to getting noticed.
- Trying to be flexible. If you have dependents your manager may be reluctant to put you forward for certain projects, particularly if they require extra hours. Perhaps you could volunteer for interesting work and discuss your intentions during appraisals.
- Attending relevant courses. You might miss out on training opportunities if you work part time and this can hinder promotion. Try to ensure that you can go on relevant courses even if you have to swap your days.
- It can be helpful to have a mentor to guide you at work and again many employers offer this.