Mike Bracken: Digital Skills Festival, data principles and welcoming our new CEO

Mike: Hello. It’s the sixth full week of the year. Sorry to miss a week last week due to holidays.

Some big news this week. First thing to say is Co-op has a new CEO. Richard Pennycook, who is the person who has sponsored much of the digital work and the creation of the team, has stepped down. Steve Murrells who is the guy that’s been running and really driving our business, our food business, has stepped up as the new CEO. It’s been a really smooth transition this week and it’s been great to work with Steve and we’ll help him develop the digital vision for the Co-op. Richard won’t be saying goodbye because he’ll still be helping our Group Board and he’ll still be around with other parts of our businesses. So that’s the first thing to say. It’s big news. What does it mean to us? Not much right now. We just keep going and delivering.

So, 5 things to talk about this week. The first is data principles. We published our data principles. If you’re watching this, go to our blog, have a look at them, comment on them and help us improve them. Those principles are about how we deal with member data and how we deal with data in the wider digital economy will be the thing that sets us apart as a co-op in the future.

Some numbers. Our Membership numbers keep growing. The campaign to get new members is only just starting so hopefully we’re well on track for a million new members this year. That’s brilliant.

And closer to home this week we had the Manchester Digital Skills Festival. It was great to see the entire team present and loads of people coming from the region who want to work with and for the Co-op and help us on our digital journey. So a brilliant week, quite a big one but we passed some big milestones.

But I should finish by saying welcome to some new starters. Great to see Adam Warburton to come in and help us on our Membership and we’ve got 2 new outstanding product managers in Anna Goss and Faith Mowbray so we’ll keep announcing new people and we’ll keep bringing great talent to the organisation. Until next week, see you then.

Mike Bracken
Chief Digital Officer

Gender bias in job adverts.

We’re looking for lots of digital people to come and join us @CoopDigital and I’m helping to find them. I was interested to see if there was any link between the gender of the writer of a job advert to that of the applicants. Here’s what I’ve found out so far:

Content Designer

  • Advert written solely by a female
  • Total applications received: 25
  • Female applicants: 13
  • Male applicants: 12
  • This means 52% of applications are from women

Polly1

 Digital Delivery Manager

  • Advert written collaboratively between female and male colleagues
  • Total applications received: 17
  • Female: 3
  • Male: 14
  • Only 18% of applications are from women.

Product Manager

  • Advert written solely by male colleague
  • Total applications received: 40
  • Female: 5
  • Male: 35
  • Only 12.5% of applications are from females.

Looking at the stats above there appears to be a link between the gender of the writer and the diversity of the applicants.

So how to tackle this? 

There is some great research surrounding gender bias within job adverts. The Women’s College Coalition found that men apply for jobs when they meet 60% of the criteria, while women wait until they feel they meet 100%. We should definitely consider this when writing future adverts. Do we really need all 10 bullet points highlighting role accountabilities? Could we scale down to just 5 and open ourselves up to more relevant and diverse applications?

What about the look of the advert? The colour, format and font used? All things to consider and I’m to go away and do more research on this.

I am going to use this gender decoder to check all new job adverts. The study that it was based on found that masculine-coded language puts women off more and that the effect on feminine-coded language on male applicants is only slight. Here are some blog posts on the subject that inspired the tool:

http://www.eremedia.com/ere/you-dont-know-it-but-women-see-gender-bias-in-your-job-postings/
http://madebymany.com/blog/can-a-few-well-chosen-words-improve-inclusivity

I’d be interested to hear any experiences or findings anyone else may have on this subject.

Polly Haslam

Our latest vacancies
Product Managers (applications now closed)
Delivery Managers (applications now closed)
Content Designers (applications now closed)
Head of Engineering (applications now closed)