Milkround society awards: showcasing student success

On Wednesday 5th July, Milkround were proud to host our annual Society Awards.

The Society Awards are always a highly anticipated event, as it allows us the chance to engage with some truly inspirational young people from our candidate pool. This year, all our finalists went above and beyond for their society pitches.

Learning about what successful students are looking for when it comes to their first graduate jobs was really enlightening both for us at Milkround and for the employers that attended on the day. By going directly to our graduate audience, we can ensure we match top talent with rewarding and challenging roles.

We are grateful to the judges Adam Isle, Oli Jacob and Qayum Mannan, who joined us from AstraZeneca, IBM, and UpRising respectively. They offered great feedback to our candidates, as well as the encouragement to consider their own graduate job offerings.

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Our finalists enjoyed a day of sharing their successes and developing their skills at our London office

After an initial application process that assessed why these candidates in particular deserve recognition for their contribution to a society, we invited the finalists to our London office.

Here, they spent the day getting to know each other through career-driven workshops provided by the Milkround Marketing team, and had the opportunity to learn more about the key things employers are looking for.

Students were then asked to pitch to our judges. All three were overwhelmed not only by the sheer number of achievements highlighted by the high-quality presentations, but the students’ sense of social responsibility.

The judging panel found it incredibly difficult to choose between candidates who came from a range of societies, from Craft and Financial Trading to Law and Women in Leadership. The judges were impressed by the passion all candidates showed for diversity and inclusion. Several of the societies wanted to invest our £1,000 prize money into charity fundraisers, addressing issues including student mental health and welfare.

Congratulations to our winners!

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Eva (left) and Lucia (right), with their Individual Contribution to a Society awards.
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Open Minds were awarded with Outstanding Contribution to a Society, for their dedication to increasing confidence and leadership skills through creativity.

Adam Isle, Recruiter for AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines & Early Development Graduate Programme, said the nominees were ‘exactly the kind of students we’re looking for’.

The day proved to be fruitful for both students and employers. Not only did the finalists get to showcase their past achievements in front of three employers, they developed their skills in pitching both their societies and their own sense of self-branding. They were then able to engage in a final networking session at the end of the day.

If you are interested in being part of events such as our Society Awards, to not only increase your brand awareness among the student demographic, but to also grant recognition of truly unique student talent found through Milkround, do give us a call on 0333 0145 111, or email 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

Milkround School Leavers sponsors the South East Regional Apprenticeship Awards

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Last night we were proud to sponsor the South East Regional Apprenticeship Awards.

A lovely awards evening was held at the unusual, yet grand venue: the HMS President Shore Establishment on St Katherine’s Dock. A mix of apprenticeship advocates attended in order to celebrate and recognise the hard work, dedication and achievements of apprentices in the South East, and also the companies who have gone above and beyond in their school leaver schemes.

Five of our marketeers attended the awards and were given the privilege of handing out the trophies to the winners.

Good luck to all the winners who are now in the running to win their categories at The National Apprenticeship Awards!

Check out some pictures below. For the full gallery, please see the National Apprenticeship Service’s Flickr account.