This year, for International Women’s Day, we want to share the stories of some of Sphere's incredible women. 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.
Rebecca (Bex) Hudson-Dowdeswell - Senior Business Manager
"Our contract veteran, with over 10 years recruiting into the tech, creative and product space, Bex has ‘matured’ through her years in recruitment to become our most left-wing right-winger. She’s the only person I know, who still, after many years in recruitment, is more excited about booking 1st interviews than our graduates." - Gabriella Morrey-Jones
How have you found being a woman, working in recruitment?
When I started in recruitment 13 years ago the clichés were real… male-dominated industry, suits, gongs being banged when placements were made, “lads club, lads’ culture”. I was a square peg in a round hole. The whole management team was made up of men. The board was made up of men. Most of the industry were men.
Whilst I was able to cut through most of that because of my success and ability, as a woman, I always felt I was always treated differently.
As the industry has evolved, glass ceilings for women have shattered generally. Businesses are more receptive and supportive of women, working mums, etc. That said, I attribute a lot of my career progression and continued love of recruitment to the fact I now work for a progressive business, who rewards people on merit and is truly diverse and inclusive.
What are the current challenges for women in recruitment?
I’d like to think there aren’t many challenges for women that are specific to recruitment. There are challenges for women in society as a whole.
Recruitment is really challenging, but I don’t believe those challenges are as gender-specific as they used to be.
That said, not enough recruitment brands do enough to support women as their lives outside of work progress, i.e. working mums and flexible working. I think this contributes to why you, unfortunately, don’t see enough older women in recruitment.
I’m fortunate that at Sphere we have many parents working here, it truly reflects how supportive to women forging a long-term career in recruitment we are.
How do you think recruitment will change in the next 5 years?
Gosh, big question! A more flexible workforce, more onsite recruitment projects, more retained assignments, hopefully, more focus on diversity and inclusion.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in recruitment?
Do your due diligence on the brand you work for. Do they truly embrace a diverse workforce? Do they empower females?
Nurture your network and treat your customers (candidates and clients) with honesty, and respect. It’s what gives you long term credibility in this competitive industry. Women who have a high level of emotional intelligence tend to excel!
How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
Super important. The “Be a lady” campaign really highlights this. We’re told we’re too emotional, too skinny, too made up, too soft, too direct, too fat… If we can’t support each other to be who and what we want to be, we can’t expect anyone else too.
The media has a huge role to play in this too. We need more campaigns with real women on the cover, stretch marks and all. We need to talk more about real-life issues, like Post-Partum poos, gender pay gaps, mothers returning to work.
The level of online bullying towards women is a pandemic, unfortunately with tragic consequences. #bekind
Who inspires you?
I have some incredible females in my life - my family, friends, colleagues. Certain females in the public eye really inspire me too.
Mostly, all mums inspire me, I have no doubt it is the hardest job in the world, and I am in awe of all the mums I know.
They do a phenomenal job.
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
Believe in yourself. Work hard. The results will follow.
If you want to find out more about a career in recruitment, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org