Our client is a leading provider of ICT services with a portfolio ranging across Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services and Emerging Business. As the global RPO provider, Pontoon supports five regions across 97 countries and delivers 11,000 hires per year.
The importance of a diverse workforce is a long-recognised strategy for this global organisation. As a key measurement of success, their Executive Board has publicly committed to a global target of achieving a 30% female workforce. In 2018, their global workforce was 23% female. Pontoon is partnering with our client to support the goal through strategic talent acquisition improvements.
Though women now represent 47% of the workforce, as compared to 38% in the 1970s, only 12% of engineers are female.
To drive this initiative, Pontoon has consulted on and implemented several program enhancements.
To start, we have altered our global SLA to include gender diversity metrics throughout the talent acquisition process. We have made a conscious effort to cast a wider net in sourcing to attract more female candidates. Our definitive metric is 30% females shortlisted to hiring managers, though we carefully review all gender diverse stats as they move through the hiring funnel:
To accomplish this, Pontoon has designated a Diversity Consultant for each of the five regions. These team members are dedicated to developing and executing diversity strategies within their region. They also work closely with the client’s devoted diversity leaders. The client currently has seven separate employee diversity groups which were created to promote the hiring, retention, and growth of diverse talent. This case study will focus on North America where stakeholders and diversity groups are most engaged. The team’s focus in 2019 was to complete enhancements and share best practices internally to improve global numbers.
To bring more female applicants in to the pipeline, Pontoon has a targeted list of diversity job boards, social media sites, and networking groups that we engage with. We research and recommend universities with strong female engineering populations for the client to partner with. We’ve tagged Silver Medallist diversity candidates in the ATS so they can be easily sourced for the next open role. Employee referrals are typically a strong source for gender diversity, so we’ve partnered with the client to create a specific referral bonus to encourage more recommendations.
Stakeholder participation is hugely important when making such changes to the employment population and culture. Gender diversity metrics and initiatives are reviewed during every global Quarterly Business Review and regional Monthly Business Review. In addition, the Pontoon Diversity Consultants meet monthly to review challenges, successes, and collaborate on new ideas. There is also a global round table discussion each month between Pontoon and the client’s diversity leaders to continue to drive the talent branding and innovation. Pontoon also co-sponsors select events with the client’s internal diversity groups.
The Pontoon Diversity Consultants spend considerable time analysing market and internal hiring data to target growth areas or areas that need visibility and consultation. Industry research cites only 12% of engineers are women, and 30% of women who have left the engineering profession quote organisational climate as the reason. Changing an established culture can be difficult and takes great care and coaching. While Pontoon can support with an increased diversity pipeline, the client is responsible for retainment after onboarding. Our Diversity Consultants can identify the groups that may need further review and coaching support to help educate and promote this cultural shift.
The North American region made impressive strides in 2018. North American hiring exceeded internal goals and helped the Pontoon RPO program meet the global SLA of 30% shortlisted for the year. Not only did Pontoon cast a wider net for more gender diverse applicants, but the quality remained throughout the entire hiring funnel – resulting in 28.5% females accepting offers.
While much progress has been made in 2018, the global workforce is only 23% female and will need to continue to grow aggressively to meet the 2020 goal of 30% female.
Having a team dedicated solely to diversity shows our client that we are excited by and fully committed to this important objective.