Gender Diversity, Recruiting 2021

An Interview with Romy Newman, FairyGodBoss and Brian Hershey, Gloat


​Increasing gender diversity is a top priority for a lot of organizations these days. In fact, a recent survey by FairyGodBoss revealed that 98 percent of organizations say diversity recruiting is a priority in 2021. Unfortunately, only 1 in 4 of those same companies has a requirement for diverse slates of candidates. So it is very appropriate and not just coincidental that this episode falls in Women’s History Month and a few days after  International Women’s Day. Romy Newman, the cofounder of FairyGodBoss, the largest online career community for women, joins Geeks Geezers and Googlization to discuss what companies can do to get closer to reaching diversity and hiring goals.

Determined to diversify and ensure women get a seat at the proverbial table, Romy cofounded “FairyGodBoss” with Georgene Huang who came up with the original idea. Georgene had very specific questions when looking for a job as a soon-to-be mother. But like many other mothers-to-be, she couldn’t find in her research what it was like to work at a company as a woman, as a working mother, or if there was noticeably equal respect and pay. She then set out to create a platform for women job seekers with the help of Romy. They wanted to create a place where women could come together to lift each other up around their careers. This platform became a place where women could safely bring their questions, concerns, or accomplishments, even if they needed to stay anonymous. Everyone and everything shared on the platform is there to help women advance in the workplace.

Romy has been the only female executive in her department before, so we ask, from her perspective, how can someone in the majority support women and people of color in the workplace? Romy touches on ways in which one should identify high potential employees and give them opportunities for their voice to be heard and invite them into the room where decisions are being made. This can create the representation needed to plan for a diverse future.

Our second segment features Brian Hershey, representing “Gloat”, which also just released a survey on how valued employees feel at their company. Brian is the Head of Enterprise Strategy and explains more on the data exposed by this survey.

Segment #1: Romy Newman

Starting off this segment are highlights from the survey done by the team at “FairyGodBoss” about “The State of Diversity in Recruiting in 2021.” The most shocking statistic was the fact that if there is only one female candidate, even in a final slate of potential hires, there is a 0% chance that she will be hired. This is even worse for other historically underrepresented minorities, says Romy.

Segment #2: Brian Hershey

Gloat is an HR technology platform. They take on the monumental task of assisting large companies utilize their talent and workforce but also enable their employees to have more fulfilling careers, culminating in a talent marketplace. This platform exists inside a company for both employees and managers. Employees can seek different positions within the company, projects or internal gig work, or other opportunities for their growth and development. People in leadership roles can also take advantage of this platform by handpicking specific talent within the company. It is one step further from a job board, Brian says. Brian elaborates on how this platform can benefit both the employee and the leaders within a company by showcasing much more than jobs; like a special experience, an opportunity, or ways to learn a new skill set.

We close the podcast by reviewing the data from the “Why We Work” survey done by “Gloat.” Brian explains why they did it, what they found, and what they hope to achieve. A whopping 1/3 of American workers feel undervalued or underutilized. This is either due to the employee feeling like their talents aren’t appreciated or are unknown to the company altogether. Consequently, a lot of workers are not getting the opportunities they want to put their skills and capabilities to work.


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​“We have so much progress to make.” [8:37]

“The infrastructure you need to be able to tee up diverse slates is significant.” [13:26]

“How is this company standing up to commit toward more progress, toward more diversity?” [20:38]

“We discovered a lot of things we didn’t know, and then we sort of discovered some things we did know, but now we have some great data behind it.” [42:20]

Podcast Notes

Progress to Diversity

​“We have so much progress to make.” [8:37]

Although there is still so much more that can and should be done to diversify the workplace, Romy stresses that at least now there has never been more focus on this issue. An overall increase in effort and resources are being devoted specifically to trying to create greater diversity at all levels of organizations.

Having a Strong Infrastructure

“The infrastructure you need to be able to tee up diverse slates is significant.” [13:26]

It seems obvious that everyone should have a diverse slate of candidates. However, Romy goes on to explain what an organization needs to do to even begin to diversify the talent pool.

  1. You need to be able to track the diverse demographics of the candidates.
  2. They need to be tracked in a way that blinds the hiring manager to this information.
  3. You need to store, compile and protect the data but make it available in a dashboard-type report.

Now that we know what we need; more diversity in the workplace, there is still a lot of data and technology needed to support it.

A Company’s Stance on Diversity is Key

“How is this company standing up to commit to more progress, toward more diversity?” [20:38]

So many people, not just women or historically underrepresented minorities, are asking this question about many organizations these days. FairyGodBoss specifically helps to elevate the companies they work with to their audience of nearly 10 million women, and anyone else navigating the free platform. They highlight how these companies are places where women thrive, expand on what the opportunities there are for women, and explain what a company is doing to invest in and make progress in diversity. We see that this information is incredibly important to women when applying to a company. Through research, women are 1 1/2 times more likely to apply to a company based on the stance it has publicly taken toward diversity, and women of color are twice as likely.

Personal and Professional Development Working Together

“We discovered a lot of things we didn’t know, and then we sort of discovered some things we did know, but now we have some great data behind it.” [42:20]

The “Why We Work” survey done by “Gloat” proved that although salary is important to a person in their job, it has never been as much of a driving factor for an individual as much as the emotional component. The survey showed that people valued access to opportunities and challenges, trying new things, and the ability to step outside of their role at the company. People are eager to grow their personal and professional development.


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