HR is primarily staffed by women. That is a fact. Whichever way you look at it, when you call HR you will most likely speak to a woman. HR is best described as a 47 year old white woman. Some have called it a “pink-collar ghetto”.
In my last blog, I asked why there are so many women in HR and I have received a number of suggestions. Some I can’t repeat here. Some have gone the “women care more about people than men”-route, others the “HR is the place to be if you are not career-orientated, which many women are not”-type of argument and others again have argued that “that’s the only areas we are allowed into”-argument.
A few (women) suggested to me that there might be discriminatory factors at play. Their line of argument goes the same way as when we are talking about the fact that there are more men in top management – women are biased towards women, men towards men. And – goes the argument- because top managers are men hire other top managers, they will hire men. And in HR the reverse is true.
I don’t know what the reason is and frankly I don’t have a strong opinion either way. What I do wonder however is; would HR be better if there was to be a more balanced gender profile in HR? Women have long argued – and provided likely evidence by way of correlations studies – that a more balanced gender profile at a leadership level (i.e. more women) – will lead to higher profits.
The trend in HR is that there will be more women in HR going forward. So if we want to reverse the trend perhaps we need to introduce more draconian steps such as introducing quota for men in HR? I am making this suggesting with a twinkle in my eye – a bit of summer fun. But play along. In Norway, a law has been introduced which states that 40% of the board members must be women for listed companies. Should we set an equal quota for men? At 40%? And what – if any – would the consequence be for HR delivery?