Monday, 30 May 2011

HR: Feminine or masculine?

I was reading about the rebranding of StepStone Solutions, which has become Lumesse. They provide software products to help HR departments manage the HR process - finding and maintaining the right people.

As part of the rebranding process they looked at their competitors in the HR technology sector. And they found that many of the brands were very masculine, very corporate, very traditional. Lots of greys, blues and greens. Lots of 'professional' images. Lots of boring typefaces.Companies that project an image of technology and business. But isn't HR about people??

In response to this, the new Lumesse brand is different. It's designed to be more feminine - the colours are vibrant: purple and yellow, the font is fluid and curvy, the shapes are circles and stars. They are trying to express that they are about people and potential, about intuition and insight - about the heart and soul of an organisation.

I was really surprised that most of the companies in the HR industry are branded in such a masculine way. Partly because I have always thought of HR as a very female world, mostly populated by women. And I would have supposed that the brands would reflect that. Or at least have reflected the sorts of skills that I think HR champions - nurturing talent, listening, negotiating, being people oriented. Most of which I think are considered to be feminine skills.

I'll be keeping my eye out as I learn more about the industry - is it really female dominated? And do the big brands in the industry reflect that?

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