According to a 2017 report by the World Economic Forum, it could still take another 100 years before the global equality gap between men and women disappears entirely. To mark International Women’s Day, Agenda’s Client Services Manager Kate Devlin, explains how the role of women has changed during her 16 year-long career and what should come next to reduce the equality gap.
Can you give us a brief description on your time in the recruitment industry and how opportunities for women have changed?
I fell into recruitment, as did many of my counterparts at that time. I specialised in recruiting procurement professionals, working with multinational corporate organisations including Nike, Google and Warner Bros. All organisations encouraged diversity, and demonstrated core values but it is fair to say the word ‘diversity’ was not as prevalent as it is today. I have worked for some inspirational directors, many women who managed large UK teams whilst juggling a family life, and they gave me the confidence to be bold and believe that I could influence decisions. After nine years with a corporate recruitment business and having had my second child, I needed to find a business that was closer to home and encouraged flexible working hours. Agenda is an ambitious business that encourages this. It is vital that more businesses embrace diversity by listening to women’s ideas and experiences to shape the future. Here at Agenda we’re considering what diversity means to our business, how we engage with and influence our employees, candidates and clients. It isn’t going to happen overnight, it is a journey and sometimes we have to venture out of our comfort zone in order to succeed.
What tips would you give to women entering the recruitment sector?
Look for businesses that have shared diversity, maybe organisations that have taken on National Equality Standards (NES). Look for values that are aligned with yours. Do your research, identify companies that have a diversified leadership team and an inclusive workplace culture that brings everyone to the table.
“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” – Sheryl Sandberg