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Holly Simpson: International Women's Day

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.

Holly Simpson - Senior Manager - Performance Marketing, Digital Operations, and Customer Success

"Holly is always up for a glass of wine, late for everything (non-work related), very sweet and probably doesn’t realise how great she is!" - Jamie Cox 

Holly joined Sphere in January 2014 and is responsible for managing our agency-side performance marketing, digital operations and customer success teams.
 

How have you found being a woman, working in recruitment?

I’ve never experienced any prejudice or felt like I’ve been sidelined or at a disadvantage. I’ve never felt it with clients, candidates.
 

What are the current challenges for women in recruitment?

I think recruitment still has a stigma of being very 'wolf of wall street'. I went to a women's network convention and remember being shocked at the stories I’ve heard where women felt discriminated against.

It was always seen as a male-dominated industry. There are times when I tell people that I work in recruitment and they're shocked. You can be seen to be quite sharky, bolshy, someone who would screw over their mates… that tends to be something that has got better but still an old school element that exists.


How do you think recruitment will change in the next 5 years?

I think more and more companies are moving to blind CV’s where you don't include gender or education.
Over the next 5 years, the CV will become redundant and hiring processes will focus on Linkedin and online profiles, and people filling out industry-specific questions.

We will also see more variety of models between recruitment agencies and clients, like going into businesses on secondment.
 

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in recruitment?

Don’t listen to any rumors or hearsay about the recruitment industry.

For anyone going into recruitment, there can be a lot of negative impressions, that it’s a boiler room style environment.

My biggest advice to women, and anyone for that matter, is not to listen to that.

Recruitment is becoming a lot more flexible, adaptable and depending on the company you join, your wellbeing is a priority - it's also a great way to make lots of money.
 

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

It’s incredibly important. Personally, I wouldn’t say that it is exclusive to women. Fundamentally, we should motivate everyone and boost people’s confidence. I wouldn't limit that to just the girls on my team. Everyone has insecurities and needs to be reminded of how good they are irrespective of their gender.
 

Who inspires you?

My dad inspires me.

He’s always worked in sales and has always been a good sounding board because he gets the balance right between being charming/likable but also can be quite bolshy. I notice it in his personal life, he has a really good energy about him. He motivates me to work hard, earn as much as possible and instilled so much confidence in me. I felt like I could do anything, which meant I didn’t notice anything to do with gender.

Even now, he’s the person I’d call for anything.
 

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Do something, it doesn’t matter what it is, just do something. Be prepared that you will learn a lot about yourself and embrace that. The biggest thing I learned over the last 6 years, is that receiving feedback from colleagues, whether they're more senior, junior or peers, is incredibly valuable and is the best tool to make you the best you can be (and enjoy it!).
 

If you want to find out more about a career in recruitment, please get in touch talent@spherelondon.co.uk

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