This year, for International Women’s Day, we want to share the stories of some incredible women in our business. The theme this year is #EachforEqual, "an equal world is an enabled world" and we sat down to discuss what life looks like for women in recruitment today.
Gemma McGeary - Associate Director
"A Sphere OG, and a woman of many 'firsts'; the first hire brought in to build and head up our agency teams, the first female Sphere board member and most important the first person to make it to Associate Director without ever winning Sphere's monthly shining star award... despite full-blown bribery!" - Gabriella Morrey-Jones
One of the longest-serving members of the Sphere team, Gemma launched and grew our highly-successful agency team. She continues to head up this division as well as playing a key role in the growth of our contract team and working as part of Sphere's senior leadership team.
How have you found being a woman, working as a Director in a recruitment company?
I have never seen myself at a disadvantage. I have never compared myself to anybody... man, woman, graduate. I’ve only ever wanted to be the best I can be.
I was a manager when I joined Sphere (7 years this July) but didn't have anyone to manage until Holly joined. It's been 7 years of building desks, divisions and launching areas; these things take time and not everything was going to be handed to me. I'm still very hands-on, still recruiting, it's an important part of the job.
The journey has allowed me to have a much broader perspective on building a company not just hiring a team of people. Contributing to the growth and development of Sphere as a business not just my areas
I’m always improving. I’ve never looked at it as "I’m the only woman on the board"… it’s "I’m new to the board, so how can I add value?"
The strength we have on the board is that we’re all very like-minded, the same vision and goal. We are all very compassionate people. It’s a safe space to share our views and ideas on things, to consider and take things on board. You can never say something that’s wrong. We come as a collective to a solution.
How do you think recruitment will change in the next 5 years?
I don’t think recruitment will ever go away. If anything there will be a greater awareness of equality and diversity. A lot of our clients are already stripping out any form of personal data (degree, male, female, background) anything that might separate them, It's purely based on their experience and it will continue to go that way.
Likewise, the tools and technologies we use will further develop until hiring is unbiased and anonymous.
If we continue down this path we will have an industries with people from all kinds of backgrounds, which will only strengthen the industries. Our job in recruitment is to support that.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in recruitment?
It’s not for a woman, it’s for anybody. I would say to a younger me not to worry about what other people are doing or focus on what you can’t control. Recruitment is hugely rewarding and can offer you so much as a career.
If you spend your time worrying about what other people are doing or things that are out of your control you won't enjoy it.
As much as recruitment is great, it can be stressful, it can be hard… it’s not hard like a brain surgeon, but we manage a lot and are under the pressures of targets and fast-paced industry if you’re worried about other people on top of that it will be too hard.
Block out all the noise and be the best version of yourself.
Who inspires you?
A younger version of myself, because it’s good to look back at how far you’ve come and what you have overcome in that journey. Recognise that you have achieved all of the things against whatever challenges you’ve faced along the way.
If you’re always thankful and grateful for what you’ve got, you have the inspiration for what you want to achieve.
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
Be the best version of yourself that you can be. Anyone, in any career, be the best version of yourself.
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