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.
Jamie is a gin-loving Irish girl who comes from a small town where you go to night clubs in wellies.
Loves - gin, gym and leaving her phone in bars in Madrid.
Hates - slow walkers, cooking any food more complicated than toast.Favourite phrases - “cop on” “shall we have one more” and “England are much better than Ireland at rugby...” - Holly Simpson
Jamie joined Sphere Digital Recruitment in March 2014 and moved into her role as Senior People Manager after growing our talent acquisition function following two successful years on our Data and Analytics team.
How have you found being a woman, working in recruitment / your current role?
Sphere is quite unique in the fact that for a recruitment agency of our size, we have a higher proportion of women (56%) than men (44%). It’s been the norm to see women progress into senior roles in our business and Ed and Niall are really supportive of women.
I haven't felt any barriers here but I am aware that they exist in the recruitment industry.
What are the current challenges for women in recruitment?
In the industry, we've seen problems for women getting into senior leadership positions whilst managing family and work life. We've also seen problems with equal pay in the industry.
It is achievable to manage family and work-life but there is a misconception in the wider industry that you can't be successful while juggling a family.
I think that’s rubbish. Parents learn to be a lot more productive with their time and by businesses offering different working hours, work from home days, and encouragement, they can have the same opportunities and a clear career path.
The thought of juggling a career and a busy personal life can cause people a lot of stress. A lot of women feel they have to take a step back in their career.
As an industry, we need to improve and make flexible working more readily available to parents. I believe a lot of businesses make plans under the radar which are made apparent to parents once they've announced a pregnancy but people planning families aren’t always aware of what’s available with them.
With good policies and good communication your career isn’t going to change and we need to support people and fully understand how to achieve this.
How do you think recruitment will change in the next 5 years?
I think recruitment will change in the sense that there will be more of an acceptance of flexibility. This generation has changed and flexibility is one of the top 3 things on a person's job search now and recruitment will have to get on board. To retain talent, you will see businesses adopt a more flexible approach to working.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in recruitment?
Do it, don’t be scared and find a business that is supportive.
I’ve been really lucky to be here for 6 years and have found a company that champions women. Find a business that believes in you and doesn’t think about your gender as a factor when thinking about your success.
How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
It’s really important, especially in recruitment. Sales is a high-pressured job - long hours, different stresses, and as a woman, women understand women best and it’s important that we’re open and honest with each other and deal with our struggles together.
When people talk about their problems, it makes people realise they’re not on their own. When you have great people around you, it makes it a lot easier.
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
That you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Never believe that your gender should affect how you progress in your career. There are businesses out there that will support you.
Sign Up for Job Alerts
Get the latest jobs straight to your inbox