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April 8, 2022

Handshake Team

Introducing Handshake Network Trends

Actionable insights about equity from our network of students, career centers, and employers

Millions of college student job seekers and thousands of universities and employers are brought together on our platform—so what can we learn? How can this information inform and shape the future of early career development? How can these trends and insights get translated into actionable strategies for career centers? These are some of the fundamental questions we—and our network—regularly ask.

With this in mind, we’ve been working on a project behind the scenes that we’re thrilled to introduce: Handshake Network Trends, a collection of unique insights from our network of students, higher education institutions, and employers. Through Handshake Network Trends, we'll produce resources on the most pressing topics to our network and contribute to the broader national conversation on early talent recruiting and employment.

Our first Handshake Network Trends report, Gender, Equity, and Gen Z,” analyzes product usage and survey results from over 1,000 college students to determine what the most diverse generation of job seekers demands from employers when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We closely focus on the effects of COVID-19 on gender equity and inclusion in the workplace, especially for women and non-binary individuals. Here are a few highlights.

Diversity matters.

More than 60% of our respondents say they either “always” or “usually” research diversity in employers’ leadership, demonstrating Gen Z’s prioritization of diversity.

It may not come as a surprise that women are much more likely than men to look for factors related to diversity—and specifically gender diversity—as they job hunt. A higher percentage of non-binary individuals (65.8%) and women (60.4%) strongly agree/agree that they would not apply to a job or internship where there is a lack of gender diversity, as opposed to 43.4% of men.

Conversely, twice as many men (31.2%) as women (15.6%) say they do not look for gender diversity when applying for a job.

Culture holds currency in hiring—but not with Gen Z.

While 37% of non-binary individuals said they research company culture before applying to a job, only 28% of men and 33% of women said the same. And no group ranks work culture in their top three motivations for staying at a job.

Pay transparency and equity is an important signal.

The majority of our Gen Z respondents say that showing salary ranges makes them more likely to apply for a job. And 62% of respondents say they’d be more likely to apply to a company if the company had a commitment to equal pay.

Download the full report

We're deeply committed to serving our network by providing data and insights to best serve their needs and answer their most burning questions. To ensure students' smooth transition from education to employment, it's critical for career centers to understand current trends and anticipate future trends.

Check out the new Handshake Network Trendshomepage for all of the insights from our first report.

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