Why are girls less likely to apply for the top graduate schemes?LACK OF CONFIDENCE – OR DOESN’T THE CORPORATE WORLD APPEAL?

Women are less likely to aim for top graduate jobs – despite being statistically more likely than men to land them if they apply, according to new stats. But the reason remains a mystery.

A new study by the Association of Graduate Recruiters found that women make up just 47% of graduate scheme applicants, despite the fact that 54% of students overall are female. However, researchers – who quizzed 170 top graduate employers – found that these high achieving girls took 49% of the posts. AGR chief executive Stephen Isherwood said:

“Many women don’t apply for the top schemes when they should. We know women are hugely successful in the selection process. We just need them to realise it. We need to boost confidence and encourage more female graduates to reach their potential.

“Graduate employers want to hire women, there are lots of opportunities out there and these candidates are more likely to succeed, so we need to address why they’re not applying. Industry-wide collaboration to tackle student perceptions will be a key step forward.”

Improving the gender diversity of graduate programmes is largely a challenge of attracting women in the first place, the AGR’s report suggests.

Three quarters of the firms which responded to the survey had a diversity strategy in place, and the majority said redressing workplace gender imbalance was the highest priority.

So, Graduate Fog wants to know: What is making women hesitate about applying to the top graduate schemes? Do they lack confidence in their abilities – or is there something about the corporate environment that doesn’t appeal?

Female graduates, have you considered applying for the big graduate programmes – and what did you decide in the end? What factors did you consider? And, whether you’re male or female, what are your theories about the causes of this gender imbalance?


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