Inclusion and equality month at MOTIFE

One team to support
equality and inclusion
in the Krakow IT market

At MOTIFE, we have decided to join the Pride Month celebrations to help raise awareness of how important it is for the Krakow IT market to offer equal opportunities and inclusion at work for all. Our MOTIFE team members have prepared a series of short articles, that will be published here throughout June. Enjoy the reading and stay tuned on our social channels for upcoming articles.

Building an inclusive workplace for LGBT+ people

04 June 2021 /
Dominik Biga – IT Recruiter at MOTIFE

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) at the workplace – LGBT+ community

Since 1969 when Gay Pride started with the Stonewall Riots in New York, Pride Month which is the celebration that commemorates those events has become more and more popular each year. Businesses across the world are joining this initiative to celebrate people diversity, but they also spread the importance and values of people’s inclusion in their workplaces. The D&I covers multiple groups, but June is mostly dedicated to the LGBT+ community.

Polish companies are progressively becoming active participants in this colourful time of the year, such as Krakow offices of Brown Brothers Harriman, Shell or UBS. According to Dalia Research held in 20161, about 5% of the Polish citizens declared themselves as LGBT+ but this is only estimated data. This represents 2 million citizens, which could potentially not be treated equally at their workplace because of their sexual orientation or transgender status.

Why do we build an inclusive workplace?

In dozens of articles dedicated to D&I, you will find statements of global brands emphasising what hiring LGBT+ people can bring to the business. They’re missing the heart of the challenge – we’re not building an inclusive workplace for business – we’re doing it for people.

People are the engine of the organisation. Forming one team frequently exposes people with different views and beliefs but in the end, the goal is one – we’re doing our best job. Exploring different attitudes and point of views encourages people to “peel off the labels”, look at things from a brand-new perspective and most importantly – build a rapport with co-workers that bring benefits to the business.

Many LGBT+ people still stay closeted in their workplace as they fear rejection and exclusion. There will be no effective teamwork without trust and rapport. One can say they are not interested in the private life of their co-workers. The reality shows that it is hard to avoid such topics – we drink coffee together, we chat all the time, we want to get to know each other. Building a safe place where people of different sexualities and gender identities can openly talk about their life not being judged by others, ensures the team forms a strong connection. The assurance that we’re welcomed in the group improves communication and lets the team members focus on their job.

The companies benefit from building equality in the workplace noting better results due to more cooperative and effective teamwork – they prove to be 20% to 30% more productive2. But it’s not only the case of effective communication, we’re also talking about the comfort of being true to yourself. Living in the closet requires hiding your true identity in public life. It is a constant fear of becoming excluded from the circle of friends or colleagues. Employers who openly stand up for human rights (‘All individuals are equal as human beings’’) guarantee the fear of rejection can be left behind.

MOTIFE stands for diversity in recruitment

Creating a great place to work is crucial to attract and retain top talent and key skills. At MOTIFE we’re building an inclusive workplace not only for our employees but due to the nature of the business, we want to provide our candidates with the best recruitment experience.

There are plenty of talents among the estimated 2 million LGBT+ Poles who will bring precious values to our clients we’re supporting in recruitment. As we are a company that openly stands for human rights, everyone is assured that no matter if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, straight or they own unique identity, as professionals we’re focused only on your talents, experience and competencies. By building an environment of Diversity & Inclusion both for our people and candidates we’re confident that every side will benefit from it and develop a long-term relationship. An organization with diverse employees draws on the variety of talents and different perspectives that can boost development of your business.

Sources:
1 https://daliaresearch.com/site/counting-the-lgbt-population-6-of-europeans-identify-as-lgbt
2 https://www.imd.org/research-knowledge/articles/Thrive-as-an-LGBT-executive-or-ally

Inclusion and equality month at MOTIFE

Equality and Inclusion of Foreigners in the Krakow IT Market

08 June 2021 /
Nicolas Cormier – Marketing Lead at MOTIFE

Over the last 20 years, Krakow has become a major tech hub in Europe. Foreign investment and foreign talent have had a major role in the development of the Krakow IT market which has helped to create a mature and resilient ecosystem. Equality and inclusion of foreigners in the work place is therefore an ideal pursued by the majority of companies, and an economical lever for further growth.

Highly qualified workforce complementing the local job market

Krakow population (780K inhabitants) counts ca. 10% of foreigners, coming mostly from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and European Union countries. An important fact to note is that this foreign population is highly educated (ca. 70% have a university degree1), contributing to the headcount of small and large companies in various sectors such as IT, Financial Services and Business Services. Whereas foreigners from Eastern Europe must follow official procedures in order to settle in Poland, citizens from the European Union benefit from a larger freedom of movement and very often do not register officially as residents, telling us the share of foreigners studying or working in Krakow is larger than the above official number.

All-English operations and success stories

From early on, it has been in the DNA of Krakow companies to hire foreigners and to make them feel at home. The very base is first being able to take part in an all-English recruitment and onboarding process. As a foreigner myself, I have found recruitment and onboarding processes to be particularly smooth: job descriptions in English, recruiters with a perfect command of English and dual-language employment contract among other things made a real difference for me as I did not speak a word of Polish when I arrived here. The same principle of equality applies to compensation, chances for promotion and to a large extent, inclusion within the team and company culture (especially in the largest Krakow companies, with Cisco often named as an example).

Originally from Romania, Andrei Checiches (General Manager EMEA at FLYR in Krakow) shares with us: ”I’ve been lucky enough to be given some of my best roles and career development opportunities in Krakow and I am now in a position where I understand better the city’s potential. In this corporate-dominated environment, foreigners find themselves at home as most global organizations are deliberate about inclusiveness.”

The gap between small and large organizations

Not all is perfect though. There is room for improvement within smaller organizations, including the IT sector and software houses. To keep operations and company culture as they are, it does still happen that hiring managers choose to consider Polish-speaking candidates only (therefore excluding a large part of foreign candidates). The paradox is that such companies often have clients abroad and do communicate with them in English on daily basis.

Andrei Checiches adds, “Start-ups is where you get to see the local culture play a far more direct role in the way the business is run. Poland is not entirely a culturally diverse space, as you would expect from a country in this part of Europe, and limited exposure to foreigners will also have an impact on how some founders prioritise inclusiveness and ultimately make hiring decisions.” On the bright side, all it takes is to have one foreigner joining to realize how beneficial (or how interestingly normal) it can be for the company.

The same conclusion can be made for a number of IT communities indirectly excluding foreigners by being only Polish speaking associations. But can we really blame these non-profit communities made of passionate volunteers? Probably not.

Extending the debate: In the post-COVID ‘’hire anywhere’’ era, how should the Krakow IT market approach skilled candidates from Asia and Africa sending over their CVS while being de facto not illegible to IT jobs in Polish organizations?

Sources:
1 Immigrants in Cracow in 2020, OWIM, Dec 2020. https://owim.uek.krakow.pl/index.php/en/publications/

Inclusion and equality month at MOTIFE

Gender equality in the IT industry – Do stereotypes create reality?

17 June 2021 /
Magdalena Fortuna-Sanocka – HR and Administration Specialist at MOTIFE

It’s a fact that employers in the IT industry still hire more men than women. They are not yet convinced that mixed teams are more effective and team collaboration can be greatly improved by the presence of women in the group1.

In Poland, women constitute 30% of IT professionals, according to a study conducted by the Geek Girls Carrots foundation2. This is obviously more than 10 years ago, but still a small percentage.

So where is the problem? Is the stereotype that a career in computer science is too geeky for girls, being repeated?

Unfortunately, as many as 75% of women employed in IT participating in the above-mentioned survey said that the main reason for the low number of women in the industry are stereotypes and the prejudices that result from them. According to the respondents, even if women show interest in the field of IT, often under the influence of the environment or even social pressure, choose a different career path, undertaking more ‘female’ studies.

Those who however decide to study ICT and choose a career in IT, face numerous inequalities and discrimination in the workplace.

The best example is pay inequality. According to a large array of reports and studies3, Polish female programmers, despite the same experience and qualifications, still earn less than their male colleagues from the Information Technology industry, who declare about 20% higher remuneration than women doing the same job.

Another example could be underestimating women’s skills by assigning them easier tasks or sexist jokes in the workplace.

Fortunately, there are more and more organizations that support women who want to start or develop their professional career in the IT sector. Good examples are Women in Technology, Geek Girl Carrots, Girls who Code, PyLadies, or #MamoPracujwIT4. This is a good sign for the future, as the more women that popularize the IT sector, the more likely the decline in gender discrimination , employment and pay inequalities will be.

Sources:
1 J. Bear, A. William Woolley “The Role of Gender in Team Collaboration and Performance”, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 36 (2), June 2011
2 Kobiety w IT. Raport 2018. – Fundacja Geek Girls Carrots
3 Główny Urząd Statystyczny, Fundacja Geek Girls Carrots, IBS, Europejski Instytut ds. Równości Kobiet i Mężczyzn, „Kobiety w IT. Jak wygląda branża IT oczami kobiet.” No Fluff Jobs
4 https://womenintechnology.pl
https://girlswhocode.com
https://pyladies.com
https://mamopracuj.pl/mamo-pracuj-w-it

Inclusion and equality month at MOTIFE

Without barriers – disabilities at work

21 June 2021 /
Agnieszka Widacka – Recruitment Manager at MOTIFE

“Level up without barriers” is a 2019 campaign by EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young) for the employment of disabled people. EY shows us in this campaign movie (Youtube link here ) the stories of their employees, specifically disabled people. You can watch what employees say about their fears before starting the job, about their preparation for the recruitment process and what their work looks like at EY. You can see also the other side of this project – how the people who organize this campaign see the whole process.

Thanks to this campaign disabled people are more willing to send their applications and feel more confident during an interview, resulting in less stress at work. The main goal of the project is to show managers that if someone is disabled it doesn’t mean that he or she has less ability to carry out their role.

I was surprised to read that in Poland, more than 3 million people are certified as disabled but only 20 % of them work. The main reason for this is stereotypes: employers often think that people with disabilities do not work as well as their nondisabled colleagues. Research shows that it is not true. Companies that employ disabled people have opened up about the benefits which they experienced with having someone with a disability on board. The first and the biggest advantage is their influence within a team, then the financial aspect and of course how the company is seen as an employer on the market.

In my opinion – a person with a condition such as diabetes can work as effectively as any other person and provide a function in roles such as a marketing specialist or accountant. Similarly, someone who is confined to a wheelchair can work as a customer service specialist or a programmer.

Being an employer who fully supports the employment of disabled people goes hand in hand with company values of standing behind diversity and supporting inclusion.

It helps us show that we instil a positive message within the disabled community and within our employees. This has a positive influence on employee engagement and loyalty. Being an active and supportive member helps us broaden our horizons with regards to new clients.

It’s also worth mentioning the financial aspect concerning disabled individuals which gives them exemption from contributions to PFRON (National Disabled Persons’ Rehabilitation Fund), co-financing of employees’ remuneration, lower ZUS contributions and reimbursement of training costs.

I see that more and more companies are open to hiring disabled people or people with illnesses such as cancer, however, it is still only a drop in the ocean in what is needed. More and more projects like the EY campaign are popping up and one to mention is “Pracodawca z sercem”, which appreciates and promotes employers who support people with disabilities and also helps the disabled to find their place in the labour market. This is a start, but the need for such campaigns is much greater. We hope to see more soon.

Sources:
1 https://www.pulshr.pl/employer-branding/zostan-pracodawca-z-sercem-im-praca-przywrocila-chec-do-zycia,79420.html
2 https://www.ey.com/pl_pl/careers/diversity-inclusiveness

Inclusion and equality month at MOTIFE

Biases in recruitment – diversity context / Part 1

29 June 2021 /
Dominik Biga – IT Recruiter at MOTIFE

Unconscious bias is the term that stands for some of the particular ways that we perceive and judge others. Biases are kind of subjective opinions we unconsciously form in our minds when interacting with different individuals. As Pride Month is the time for a loud celebration of people diversity, which often goes hand in hand with view and image confrontation, it’s worth taking a closer look at our ingrained attitudes, and mostly unfair prejudices, and how it may affect the recruitment process.

The topic is wide, so we’ll divide it into two parts. This text gives us a quick recap of the most frequently discussed biases in recruitment, discovered by many studies that extensively covered the subject of psychological aspects of thinking and the decision-making process. Recruitment is about making difficult decisions under pressure. There are always at least two perspectives – the interviewer’s one and the interviewee’s one. As we operate nowadays in a very diverse society the volumes of data our brain must process about others is overwhelming – this way we indulge in cutting corners and we produce ill-conceived judgments. Watch out for such traps!

Affinity bias

Affinity bias is the feeling of an illusory connection to a person based on the traits we share. As an example, we come from the same town, or we belong to the same groups or communities. Affinity bias is a very disturbing tendency as it may evolve and emerge in unexpected situations. We may unconsciously favour a person of the same nationality, ethnic background, skin tone or gender even though we have other, more suitable candidates in the process.

Halo effect

The Halo effect works both ways. When it occurs negatively, then it’s usually called the pitchfork effect or devil effect. It’s the situation when we focus just on one positive or negative trait of a person and we produce overall judgment based on this one characteristic. For instance, an interviewer has limited time for a proper introduction with a candidate, and they tend to assume features of an individual based on the first impression, so they analyse their voice, gestures or eye contact. If the first impression was good, the interviewer thinks the rest of their professional background is great as well. They might fail to make a critical decision though.

Beauty bias

Our brains are constructed the way we tacitly assume that a person who seems to be physically attractive to us will be more successful in the role. The beauty bias is a kind of continuity of the halo effect because the research showing that someone who is perceived as attractive, due in part to physical traits, may be more likely to be perceived as kind or intelligent1 – so positive perception of traits can influence further decisions positively.

Naturally, the beauty standards differ in many parts of the world, but it’s always unfair judgement based on the traits we can’t influence. This entails the next problem – if we find someone “unpleasant” for the eyes this will also negatively affect the interviewer’s decisions2.

Nonverbal bias/Effective heuristic

With the statement mentioned above, we’re heading to the next bias which is an effective heuristic. This is a hiring bias when people tend to assess others drawing on superficial factors. A bodyweight, masculine or feminine appearance, make-up or even tattoos, all may unfairly become relevant for the decision-maker. This is commonly observed behaviour, especially in recruitment, when someone unconsciously judges plus-size people negatively assuming they’ll fail in their professional life. In terms of fit people, it works on the contrary – they tend to be overestimated3.

Be conscious!

Dealing with people equals dealing with diversity. You’ll never meet two of the exact same people. However, you’ll encounter individuals like you or totally opposite. The biases above are just a brief sketch of behavioural patterns, and it refers to some little section of human variability. As a Recruiter or Hiring Manager, you meet people of different backgrounds, physical traits or features you’re unaware of like tone of voice or even hand gesture patterns. As a professional, you pay attention only to professional competence and experience. As a human, you’ve been constructed to assume and try to simplify reality. These two natures may collide. To make your decisions consciously and with respect for people’s diversity always be data-driven and let a candidate meet with other interviewers and listen to their opinions. And remember that biases in recruitment are inevitable but try reducing their impact on your decisions.

Stay tuned for more – part two about biases in recruitment is coming.

Sources:
1 Wade, T Joel; DiMaria, Cristina, “Weight Halo Effects: Individual Differences in Perceived Life Success as a Function of Women’s Race and Weight”. Sex Roles, 461–465
2 https://harver.com/site/hiring-biases/
3 https://www.stephendale.com/2018/07/29/heuristics-and-biases-the-science-of-decision-making/

Inclusion and equality month at MOTIFE

Here comes the title of the first article written by our team

01 June 2021 /
Jan Kowalski – IT Recruiter at MOTIFE

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Inclusion and equality month at MOTIFE

Here comes the title of the first article written by our team

01 June 2021 /
Jan Kowalski – IT Recruiter at MOTIFE

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Inclusion and equality month at MOTIFE

Here comes the title of the first article written by our team

01 June 2021 /
Jan Kowalski – IT Recruiter at MOTIFE

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio.

Inclusion and equality month at MOTIFE