Meritocracy…the Elephant in the room!

Published on 1st January 2025

It’s safe to say that “Gender Diversity” is a hot topic these days. Aside from all the media hype, it’s a common topic on any boardroom agenda, with many pieces of research being undertaken, it’s a hot event topic and focus group discussion, and commonplace within HR and recruitment team conversations and practices. So it’s perfectly understandable that people, particularly those who recognise they work within gender imbalanced teams, will likely have an opinion either way about this. 

What is often not overtly spelled out is that this diversity strategy is all about progress. I’ve personally never spoken to a client who wants to change anything about their team dynamic or recruitment and selection process with the intent of decreasing productivity! Research clearly outlines that organisations are more successful with diverse workforces (Watermark Board Diversity Index), and I suspect it’s not on a whim that the Australian Government has commenced tracking gender diversity, and there’s no doubt that this is just the start! 

As a recruitment agency, our role is to refer quality candidates who meet the criteria for the role and organisation. By further building our candidate base, ensuring an even mix of both male and female candidates, we are better positioned to provide a choice of suitable candidates to our clients, enabling them to balance their team diversity, whilst employing based on merit

In an ideal world we will soon reach the stage where we are not constantly having to reaffirm the meritocracy of recruitment in line with gender balance decisions, however, it continues to be the one topic that is so often raised. To aid in this shift, I would advise any organisation embarking upon a diversity strategy, is set comprehensive change and communication plans which include bringing this topic up early. Enabling your employees to talk about their concerns regarding meritocracy, and hear how best to articulate this to others, will ensure its communicated well before those skilled and competent candidates are selected for roles, and subsequently questioned by others on their merit.