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Diversity brings different ideas to the table – IWD2020

Posted by Lewis Cornwall on 12/03/2020

Career

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This year for International Women’s Day we conducted a series of interviews with some of the female leaders within LHi Group. Stepping up to the mic, Cat Cappell; a manager within our Life Sciences brand, SciPro in New York.

1. How did you find the move from being a top billing consultant to a Manager responsible for a team?

"The transition from an individual contributor to Manager was exciting. Only in recruitment can you go from being a one man band (or should I say one woman band!) to having four direct reports in the space of three months so it certainly had its challenges, but overall I felt empowered that LHi had recognized my skills and ambition and was setting me up for long term success. They were brilliant in helping me with the transition. I've always felt supported here which is so important. I truly enjoy being someone that people go to for advice and see as someone with a valid opinion. It has given me a lot of confidence and energy."

2. Who is one of your female role models and why?

"I think first I want to say my mom, because she has always taught me to stand up for what I believe in and to have confidence in who I am. She looks at life like an adventure but is also quite practical about things. I try to exemplify that balance in my life and work. Then I also want to shout out Billie Jean King. I love her story and how she not only stood up for female athletes but women everywhere during a time when that was considered a risk. As a tennis player myself, I admire the way she paved the way for other women to follow."


3. What support has LHi offered to you during your journey to becoming a leader?

"We have had some brilliant management training (both internally & externally) that went through everything from learning styles, understanding my teams "why?", to our individual ways of working and discussions on how best to deal with difficult conversations. We really drive the "Younger You" concept in these training sessions and it helped to put myself in my teams shoes and continue to ask myself what type of manager I wanted to have when I first started in recruitment, as well as think back to some of my best managers and what sort of traits they had that made them good leaders and then strive to embed those into my style."

4. What changes would you like to see the industry adopt to address the gender imbalance, particularly prevalent at Director level?

"I think the gender imbalance in recruitment is an industry wide issue. We work long hours, managing desks that are heavily commission based so if you want to have a family as a woman, it could be hard to feel like you can take a step back in your hours, work from home when your team is in the office or take long periods off for fear of your desk being negatively affected. In order to help combat this I think a clear, fair and well thought out parental leave needs to be globally embedded, one that extends to both partners. Creating systems that support work-life balance will only generate loyalty and sustainability for the company. Especially with so many young women rising the ranks currently who are 5+ years into their careers and will be heading into their 30's. They should know that they don't have to choose between their career and personal goals.

With more female Directors comes more younger female leaders looking up to them as role models. All it takes is for a couple people to make it to the top and there will be a chain reaction."


5. Why is diversity and inclusion important to you and your career at LHi?

"It is important to be me because I don't think a workforce can be successful and great if diversity and inclusion isn’t present in the culture and values. Therefore, we need to make sure that we are constantly focusing on it. LHi really elevates everyone no matter who they are and doesn't stand for discrimination of any kind. Making diversity and inclusion a proactive priority when it comes to hiring and supporting your employee’s lifestyles needs to remain top of mind."

6. Why should organisations prioritise diversity and inclusion in their strategic goals?

"Diversity brings different ideas to the table. If you only have the same types of people in a room making decisions about a company, you will generally get the same thoughts and opinions. We need to consider perspectives from people with different experiences and identities to make sure that our company and culture is working for everyone. Regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, all employees should feel empowered and supported so that they are able to put their best foot forward in the office."


If you're interested in hearing out about all of our opportunities at LHi Group, visit our contact us page to speak to a member of the team, or view all of our live vacancies and apply for a position today.