Celebrating the achievements of women in recruitment
International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women and marks a call to action to accelerate women’s equality. Today, it is fighting to #BreakTheBias, advocating a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equal, and inclusive. So what is life like for women in recruitment?
We sit down with our Client Services Delivery Manager Louise to discuss her experiences and achievements as a woman in the recruitment industry. Her role involves headhunting experienced candidates and developing a good understanding of client companies and their industry, to best understand their assignments. She builds and nurtures strong relationships with our clients to swiftly source the best candidates.
With over 9 years’ recruitment experience, she has a proven track record in the sector. She understands the importance and impact of building strong relationships with client account representatives for the company.
When did you first consider pursuing this career?
Quite early on in my career, my employer suggested I transfer my original role into a more sales-based one. I found I really enjoyed the work, and it came quite naturally to me. This made me consider what I can achieve if I take this full-time.
I didn’t initially intend to go into the built environment sector, but after securing my first recruitment role in the industry I found it really interesting and enjoyed working with engineers. I’ve spent a long time working in a sales environment, I enjoy working with people and very target driven. This became something that I wanted to pursue further. So I then found a position at Advance TRS and the rest is history as they say!
What was your experience of entering the industry?
I was aware that I was entering quite a male-dominated role and sector, but I’ve never had any issues. I enjoy the competitive nature of recruitment and like the challenge of proving what I can do. I’ve never felt out of my depth, in fact, it’s helped pushed me to achieve more than I could think possible.
How important was diversity and inclusivity when you were job searching?
To be honest, I didn’t really consider it or find myself thinking about it, but in a way, I think this is a positive thing? I never felt like being a woman made things challenging or caused a barrier in creating a career for myself. I also feel like I make more of an impact. Yes, I am sometimes competing with men in the sector, but I’m able to prove that I am competent, provide value, ambitious and just as capable.
WomenInRecruitment, an initiative by APSCO, produced a report in Spring 2020 which found over two thirds of recruitment firms have more than 50% female representation and support staff level. Two-fifths have more than 50% female representation at recruitment/resourcer level.
The report also found that a third of recruitment firms have less than 5% female representation at board level. Whilst another third has between 21-50%.
What would you say is your greatest professional achievement so far?
I think there are a few accomplishments that I’m proud of. Firstly, when I achieved entry to the Millionaire’s Club, £1 million in billings in my time for Advance TRS. I was the first female to achieve this for the business so feel proud to be paving the way.
I also brought on board a new client to Advance TRS who have since become one of our top grossing clients. So this is quite an achievement. Finally, hiring during the pandemic and securing over 100 permanent hires for one client. Considering we were in lockdown and recruiting under very challenging circumstances, it was very rewarding to accomplish that.
How would you describe your experience of being a woman in your industry?
In general, I don’t feel there is much disparity. I have on occasion witnessed gender bias, with certain words and phrases used that wouldn’t have been said to a man. However, the industry overall is very understanding of equality and diversity. I don’t feel that being a woman has created any barriers or hindrances in my career. You just need to find your voice and have confidence in your abilities, back yourself!
Have you been given any advice that has helped shape your career?
One piece of advice I received regarding recruitment specifically is “ride the wave.” With the nature of recruitment there are highs and lows, but I was taught to just persevere and keep going. When things are going well it’s incredibly rewarding, so you’ve got to remind yourself of that when going through a low point.
Do you have any female role models that have encouraged you in your career?
A lot of the candidates I work with are very inspiring. I’ve supported a lot of women in getting a new opportunity, some in quite senior positions. When you’ve heard their story, their background and helped them through the process, it’s so rewarding to see them succeed. The dedication that some of these women have to their career and sector is amazing, and I feel so proud when they secure their next job.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to women considering a career in your sector?
For a woman considering a career in the recruitment industry, be confident and don’t be afraid to speak up! Be your biggest supporter. In recruitment, you do have to be quite driven and versatile but have courage in your work. As the saying goes “She believed she could so she did.”
Why Advance TRS?
At Advance TRS, we believe everyone deserves the same opportunities, regardless of age, race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. The diversity of our workforce is an essential part of our success. As such, we are committed to supporting contractors and staff to work in an environment that is free from discrimination and promotes equal opportunities for all.
We are a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of highly skilled technical professionals for the built environment. We provide permanent, contract and temporary recruitment solutions to both candidates and clients across several key technical sectors including rail, construction and water & environment services.
Since establishing in 2011, the company has shown remarkable growth, delivering MSPs and RPOs for some of the biggest businesses in the built environment. The team continue to work closely together to deliver honest, reliable solutions to clients and candidates.