Milkround’s latest insight into imposter syndrome and how it is effecting female graduates

We recently delved into the minds of 5,700 students and graduates, to find out about young people’s career confidence and their perception of future employment.

Lower Salary Expectations

Our research identified that one in three (33%) women are worried about low pay and think they’ll earn under £20k in an entry level role, compared to less than a quarter (22%) of their male counterparts.

We also found that males expect to be earning more in five years’ time, with more females (25 percent compared to 15 percent males) expecting to be on £25-£30k and more males (23 percent compared to 17 percent females) expecting to be on over £35k, after five years.

Writer and activist, Natasha Devon MBE importantly contributed stating:

“Imposter syndrome is more than just ‘lacking confidence’. It’s an all-consuming belief that you aren’t worthy of your career achievements, that you’re a fraud and a fear of being ‘found out’, even if all the evidence shows you to be qualified and capable. Whilst feminism has come on in leaps and bounds over recent years, we still live in a culture where the prototype for success and influence is white, male and middle aged. It’s no wonder, then, that the people most likely to experience imposter syndrome are young women.”

 

Career Confidence

While confidence was the top choice for respondents, our findings revealed that far more females (41%) reported confidence to be a soft skill that they needed to work on most to excel in their career, compared with just 28% of males.

Competition from those with more work experience was another concern, with more females (58%) citing it as an issue, compared to males (47%).

Our Jobs Expert at Milkround, Georgina Brazier stated:

“Confidence issues are affecting graduates before they even hit the workforce, which often lasts with them throughout their career.

While more employers are implementing mentorship programmes to alleviate imposter syndrome and boost confidence among new starters, more needs to be done to ensure that this negative mindset is reversed, before they start working their way up the career ladder.”

 

How to Avoid Imposter Syndrome

Natasha Devon has put together some helpful tips to ensure that you avoid imposter syndrome and maintain confidence in young individuals.

Know Your Enemy

Having imposter syndrome can feel incredibly isolating, because by its very nature it is something which makes you feel as though you don’t belong. It’s important to remember it’s both common and, unfortunately, normal – particularly amongst women.

Think like your male counterparts

Studies show that men tend to believe they can do jobs for which they are underqualified whereas women are more likely to believe they aren’t right for a role, even if they are overqualified. Look at their qualifications and experience and measure them, objectively, against yours.

Combat negative self-talk

It’s essential to have a voice in your head advising caution, especially when running away from a bear. The negative voice we’ve evolved to carry around with us is more likely to tell us we aren’t worth a pay rise, can’t do that presentation or will make a fool of ourselves in a meeting. Recognise that voice and tell it to shut up.

Separate instinct from structurally created beliefs

Human beings learn through repetition and a lot of what our brain absorbs happens subconsciously. We still live in an environment which tells us the prototype for a powerful person is white, male and middle aged. Realise this is a belief system is not representative of you and is not something you would choose to believe of your own free will.

Stop trying to be liked

Women, on average, fear social rejection more than men. This isn’t an attitude which serves anyone well in the work place. However, we teach people how to treat us. Working for free, never using the word ‘no’ and letting other people take credit for your work might mean less confrontation, but it will leave you underpaid, undervalued and exhausted.

 

You can find more information in this year’s report. Download your copy here.

*All figures from Milkround’s Candidate Compass Report 2018

 

If you have any questions or would like to speak to us in more detail, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Number: 0333 0145 111
Email: sales@milkround.com

Students don’t feel clued up on STEM careers

A third of students feel underinformed about STEM careers, according to new research carried out by Atomik Research on behalf of Centrica. Nearly half of the 1,063 students between the ages of 14 and 18 could not name a female role model in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.

Furthermore, nearly a third of male teachers (29%) believe that STEM careers are more suited to boys than girls, compared to 16% of female teachers. 23% of the teachers surveyed do not feel confident or do not know if job opportunities exist for girls going into STEM careers.

Alongside this,  research by L’Oréal found that on average, 55% of 16-18 year old students are not studying science. Of those, 40% said it was because they don’t think science would lead to a career they would want to do, and just under a third (29%) lack confidence in their science skills.

Combining these revelations highlights the continued existence of both a skills and gender gap within STEM subjects and careers. The next question is: what is the solution to and how can employers help?

L’Oréal has unveiled a new campaign that aims to encourage female role models to visit local schools and talk to primary-school aged children to help inspire the next generation of scientists. By informing young people about the vast array of opportunities that STEM careers could offer them, it is hoped more students, particularly females, can see their own potential in these industries.

Paul Gilliam, HR Director – UK & Ireland at L’Oréal, highlights how important education on science careers is, alongside supporting women already in STEM industries to ensure they are reaching their full potential and can be guiding lights for young girls.

“It is important that we proactively encourage women who are looking to enter into science professions and support those that are already there,” he says. “We believe fostering female scientists of the future starts much earlier in life, which is why, to mark the tenth anniversary of For Women in Science, we have linked with the Inspiring the Future programme, run by UK charity Education & Employers, to inspire the next generation of scientists by encouraging both boys and girls to take an interest in science at primary school age.

“Companies have a responsibility to give back to the community and we truly believe that by encouraging more scientists into schools and opening children’s eyes to the range of careers that science leads to, we can help make scientific jobs feel both exciting and attainable and ultimately achieve a better gender balance in science.”

Gender has been a hotly debated topic in recent months; but then it has always been. It must continue to be spoken about and acted upon to ensure equal gender representation and pay in all industries.

When it comes to STEM, employers within these industries can help to educate young people to open their eyes to the vast opportunities available to them. Engaging with young people throughout their school life may be a heavy time constraint, but this technique can be incorporated within your school leaver or graduate recruitment process.

School leavers, students and recent graduates care about social responsibility and equality. By showing them you too are invested in this in all levels of your company, from recruitment to the continued nurturing of employee talent, you will attract a diverse range of top youth talent.

For suggestions on how we could work alongside you to create bespoke campaigns that can advertise your job openings, or to raise awareness of opportunities in specific industries such as STEM through events or similar, please contact info@milkround.com.

Millennials, mental health and company culture

95% of employers surveyed by Totaljobs consider a candidate’s cultural fit as important in the application process. The high figure is unsurprising, as like-mindedness and productivity often go hand-in-hand; something recognised by over half of employers. No matter how many benefits a role has, if a candidate is not a good cultural fit within the pre-existing team, it’s unlikely they will stay around in the long term.

It’s in the best interests of both employer and employee that there is a universally immersive and open company culture. Employees, particularly graduates, want to feel that they are contributing to a shared business goal and by feeling that they are an integral ‘fit’, friendships will most likely be formed. This sense of community is crucial both in terms of business and employee welfare.

While some graduates may not possess masses of work experience, recognising potential and how this can be realised and utilised within the pre-existing team is important when choosing a candidate.

Work Friendships

Friendships in the office are greatly beneficial, as long as they do not teeter over the line of focus into distraction. In fact, only 4% of employees think close relationships at work make them less productive. 39% feel more productive working alongside friends, and 60% look forward to going to work as a result of a close bond formed with like-minded people.

The business value of friendships is clearly recognised, as three-quarters of employers routinely organise social events, from seasonal parties, to drinks and meals out and company milestone celebrations.

Company culture and mental health

If a graduate, or any new starter, does not comfortably fit into your company culture, it may lead to workplace loneliness. Good&Co highlight research that reveals feeling excluded is more negative for personal wellbeing than bullying or harassment.

This loneliness may manifest itself in different ways: the outdated view that emotions should remain outside of the workplace can contribute to feelings of isolation. Not everyone is able to compartmentalise their work and home life – nor should they feel like they have to.

Mental health is a topic that is rightfully being discussed more in the context of a professional working environment – the story of a CEO responding to an employee taking a mental health day is hopefully a sign that this will become standard practice. Millennials have grown up being more aware of the importance of mental health and being open when it comes to discussing this. Employers need to continue to place equal value on mental welfare as they would do physical health.

The relationships within a team should be considered just as vital as a candidate’s skills and potential. After all, young people who do not feel welcomed as part of a supportive team are unlikely to reach their full potential and will be less likely to feel comfortable seeking advice or voicing concerns. A flourishing social environment is essential for a successful business.

 

For more information, feel free to contact info@milkround.com .

Female graduates’ low expectations contribute to early gender pay gap

New research by Milkround has revealed that over a third of female graduates expect a starting salary of £20,000, falling £10,000 short of the median UK graduate wage of £30,000 per year.

This, coupled with The Department of Education’s Longitudinal Education Outcomes findings, shows that the gender gap exists from the beginning of graduate careers, and even increases over time. In fact, five years into their careers, women earn on average £6,500 less than their male counterparts.*

We believe it is pivotal that graduate employers are dedicated to doing their utmost to tackle this.

Milkround’s Head of Marketing, Francesca Parkinson, highlights that: “Nearly 85 per cent of female graduates do not know their own value, which may have a knock-on effect in their future earnings. As the UK’s largest graduate advice website, we feel a responsibility to empower women in the workplace, helping them to realise their worth and build career confidence”.

As graduate employers, there is much you can do to ensure female graduates know their own value and possess the confidence to articulate this. By seeing that their employers accurately recognise their value and actively  work to erase the gender pay gap, graduates will feel confident that they will receive the salaries they deserve.

Raising awareness of the gender pay gap and its implications as a matter of social responsibility is, of course, a priority. However, only through conscious action that aligns with values of equality can we implement change.

The application process

As a graduate employer, you will know that many job openings will offer ‘competitive’ salaries. You may offer them yourself. Most graduates will embark on their own research as to what range ‘competitive’  consists of for a specific role or sector, but will sometimes set their salary expectations a little lower than the average in a bid to make themselves appear more desirable.

As highlighted by Milkround’s research, this is incredibly detrimental to women, who already face issues of inequality in the workplace.  By being clearer about what sort of salary you will be able to offer, you ensure graduates have realistic expectations and are not undercutting themselves from the beginning when it comes to salary expectations.

Be open to salary negotiations

As you would expect, it is unlikely a new graduate will have negotiated salary previously. It is important to remember this if a graduate with a job offer does not navigate the conversation in quite the same way you may be used to. Of course, this does not mean that it is acceptable for them to raise the point without politeness, accurate research, and proof of their exceptional skills. Simply put, female graduates should feel they can confidently talk about salary.

As an employer, it is key to establish a good relationship and appear approachable to your potential employee so that they can feel confident raising questions not only about the role itself, but about their salary expectations. Often, graduates will give a range for their salary expectations (for example, “somewhere between £23,000 and £25,000”) because they might assume by specifying only one figure, an employer will consider them too demanding. This fear of asking “too much too soon” contributes to the continued existence of the pay gap, and is commonly attributed to women more than men.

Be constructive and offer feedback and recognition

If a recent graduate asks for a raise following an acceptable period of time in your employment, or their salary expectations are higher than you anticipated prior to accepting a job offer, acknowledge that you understand the points they have voiced. Hearing that a raise is not possible will be disheartening, but if employers make it clear that an employee’s request has been thoroughly considered, the response  should be accepted and taken onboard. If you can, use data to reiterate your pay package is on par with the average.

Milkround continually see highly qualified and enthusiastic candidates; our recent Society Awards was host to a number of female students with incredible talent. As a result, it is alarming that young women not only have the glass ceiling to contend with, but also a ‘lead floor’. Without active employer influence, female graduates will remain wedged between the two.

We must continue to raise graduate confidence so they understand their own value and can articulate this. Far from feeling entitled, graduates need to know that even at entry level, they will be respected and listened to during salary negotiations. Maintaining self-worth, especially in female graduates, ultimately forms a self-aware workforce where individuals know their own value. Graduate employees should be able to trust that this is recognised by their employers, who are not only aware of the existence of the gender pay gap, but actively counteract it throughout the recruitment process.

If you’d like to learn more about our research into graduate salary expectations and the gender gap and the graduate market generally, download our whitepaper.

To speak to us about job postings or creating a tailor-made campaign, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0333 0145 111, or drop us an email at info@milkround.com. We pride ourselves on our graduate knowledge, because it comes directly from our audience!

*https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/619512/SFR_18_2017_LEO_mainText.pdf

Boost your campaign this February with our perfect pairs

With Valentine’s Day only around the corner, we’re feeling the love here at Milkround. This month we’ve coupled up some of our top products at a discounted rate to boost your recruitment campaign*:

1. Puppy Love 

Drive applications to your vacancies with 20% off a Social Media Boost & Keyword Sponsorship

£640

2. Facebook Official

Widen your reach with 20% off a Targeted Email to 10,000 candidates & Banner on our homepage

£1,560

3. Honeymoon

Build your brand with 25% off a one month Custom Job Advert & and sponsorship of your chosen sector

£1,650

4. Keep the Love Alive 

Engage with your target audience through our #MilkroundEngage Twitter Q&A and a HTML email sent to 10,000 candidates.

£2,660 – 30% off!

* T&C’s: Not eligible for current proposals. Must book in February to be eligible for discount. Ends midnight 28/2/17

 

25 Jobs Before Turning 25…

emma-rosen-graduation

Finding a job as a recent graduate is hard, and even harder when you’re not sure which sector you want to start a career in. We often hear stories of graduates not being loyal to companies – only staying for a couple of years before leaving to pursue a new role because they just don’t know which sector they’d like to work in. Emma Rosen, graduate of the University of Exeter with a degree in History & International Relations and a MA in Applied Security Strategy, is taking on the challenge of trying out 25 different jobs before she turns 25. Here’s why she’s doing it:


“Four months ago, I made the decision to leave my ‘job for life’ with the Civil Service in favour of an experimental idea: trying 25 jobs before I turn 25, over the course of a year.

This is no gap year, but a radical sabbatical aimed at not only finding my ideal career, or careers, but also to better understand the challenges, desires and demands of many of my peers – the so-called millennial generation – with the aim of advising on future workplace trends.

That was how the challenge started – aimed at millennials by a millennial.

However, I soon realised that the issue of an unfulfilled workforce was not as generationally-defined as I had first thought. Since featuring in The Telegraph, among other publications, I have had a huge response from people of all ages, from school-age teenagers to those near retirement, alongside hundreds of millennials.  

I am currently six jobs in and my goals are now threefold: to get a better understanding of what I want to do in the long run, to advocate for better careers education for young people and also to promote career fulfilment for those already in the workplace. At the strategic level, a happy and fulfilled workforce is a resilient workforce, that is able to withstand the economic and political shocks that we are experiencing with increasing frequency.

So how am I trying 25 careers in one year? I am spending anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks working with inspirational organisations within each field, which I have contacted through a mixture of networking, cold-calling and my partnership with Milkround.

I would, therefore, be very grateful for any offers of work shadowing/experience in the UK, or abroad, in any of the industries I have yet to cover, including:

  • International Development
  • International Security
  • Primatology
  • TV & Film production
  • Conservation
  • Marine Biology
  • Think Tank
  • Hotel Critic
  • Disaster/Crisis Management
  • Homewear/Fashion Buyer
  • Entrepreneurial start-up (preferably with a social impact focus).

Two weeks is, of course, not a substantial enough period of time to fully get to grips with a sector. This is why I am also looking to interview passionate senior individuals within each industry, to learn from their experience and to gain a more holistic insight into what it’s like to work within each.

What I can offer to an organisation or induvial in return, is writing about my experiences on my website and through my partnership with Milkround, which would be a great way to promote working with you. It would demonstrate to potential future candidates that you take their career fulfilment and happiness seriously.”

You can view Emma’s website and blog here: http://www.25before25.co.uk

Social Media in the Graduate Space: our last Insight Breakfast

On Monday, 15th January 2016, we held our latest Insight Breakfast with employer brand and marketing agency ThirtyThree.

Around 60 employers from a range of companies including Crowe Clark Whitehill, Baxterstorey, FDM, Sky and Siemens attended the mornings session to gain a better understanding of how graduates use and engage with social media.

Phillip Lane from ThirtyThree presented the research (as seen in the picture above), which was conducted with Milkround at the end of last year. We surveyed 750 graduates to see how they engage with different types of content on social media, to help recruiters understand the best way to interact with this audience.

Following this, video specialists Unruly hosted a session on how millennials use video, and tips on making viral video content.

For more information about our Insight Breakfasts, or if you would like to discuss running one with us, get in touch:

E: info@milkround.com

T: 020 3003 4000

Our agencies rounders tournament

A big thank you to all of the agencies who joined us on Friday afternoon at Hyde Park for a competitive game of rounders.

Starting at 5.30pm (and not finishing until 9.30pm) it’s safe to say we had a great evening, and you all put our rounders skills to the test!

 

We had over 30 attendees from Penna, TMP, Accord, OME and Havas- a competitive tournament was held with umpire Danny Heath in charge.

 

Congratulations to Accord who took home the winning title.

 

It was a great success- keep your eyes and ears peeled for the next one…!

 

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