This year's International Women's Day theme is #BreakTheBias. What does this slogan mean to you in your work life?
For me breaking the bias means truly having a gender equal world. A world where females in powerful roles are the norm and where there is no perception that the individual had to sacrifice something or change who they are to get there. A world where you arrive at your house in a taxi and the male taxi driver doesn't say 'Wow amazing house, your husband must do well.'
What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?
Having been in the working world for over 20 years now, I have seen a lot of change and improvement. The main one being in relation to gender roles. They are less rigid. Women are starting to be encouraged to take on roles that would have once been out of reach.
I've also seen more authenticity and commitment around change, with a better understanding of what needs to happen to effect real change. Finally, women have a louder voice than ever before, and we are being listened to. An example being the #metoo movement.
Which women have supported or inspired you in your career path?
My Nan was and continues to be a huge inspiration in both my work and personal life. She was incredibly independent, strong to the core and never minced her words! She was also incredibly kind, generous, and sharp. She was born in an age where women's roles were rigid, but she still carved out a successful career and travelled the world on her own. If she were born 50 years later, I’m sure she would have been CEO. We owe it to women like that to thrive.
How do we encourage more women to join recruitment?
The key to encouraging more women into recruitment is tackling the culture at grass roots. We want to create an environment where everyone can be their authentic selves and thrive.
One of the biggest challenges that women face in recruitment is overcoming bias and stereotypes. Many think of jobs in this industry and the sectors we operate in as positions men excel in because of the aggressive nature associated with sales. Women’s sales abilities are often underestimated, and this viewpoint has become a common unconscious bias among individuals in sales.
Why do we need more women in leadership?
We don't just need more women in leadership, we need more diversity as a whole in leadership! We all bring different skillsets, strengths and crucially perspectives.
How important is it to have male allies who may support women's progression?
Hugely important, research has shown that in the absence of male support, women have to shoulder the burden of battling routine workplace sexism such as misogynist humour and microaggressions on their own. This can lead to a sense of isolation, stress, and exhaustion.
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SOapbox Season One
The SOapBox Series | Season 1 Special Episode: International Women's Day