Talent Acquisition

What’s the Worst Thing You’ve Heard About Being a Woman in Recruitment?

Sexism in the workplace continues to be relevant, as much as we all don’t want it to be. And sexism isn’t one sided either, there are stigmas that follow females and males around that continue to be all too commonplace.

So we ask our diverse panel of female recruiters to point out the most annoying thing they have heard about being a woman in this industry so that we can continue to break down barriers and combat issues of sexism not only in recruitment but in all areas of work and professional life.

Lysha Holmes

The most annoying can also be the most upsetting where a misogynist boss makes a woman’s life hell: usually lacking in any emotional intelligence or pastoral care for their staff. The anecdotes relating to this tend to be about lack of flexibility over childcare needs. And that is why the woman is talking to me- to find them a role in a company who WILL support their needs!

Lysha Holmes, Owner and Recruiter of Qui Recruitment R2R.

Caroline Stokes

The sexual advances on LinkedIn seems pretty common according to young and attractive recruiters. It must be frustrating for them to be seen as an object of desire. I don’t think men have this problem. Do they?

Caroline Stokes, Founder of FORWARD and The Emotionally Intelligent Recruiter.

Ruth Penfold

I’d say it’s less about recruitment and more in general, the idea that we are competitive against each other and not mutually supportive. I also have a big issue women working in any sales orientated role are often mistaken as being aggressive.  An assertive woman (across any specialism) is often mis-interpreted as an aggressive woman; and that’s one of the things we need to overcome.

I’m pretty straightforward in my approach to things, and I’ve experienced instances where people take that directness as a sign I’m upset with them in some way – which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’d like to see people embrace confidence and commerciality in women in the way that we do men, and to allow all people the ability to be interpreted for who they are, regardless of gender.

Ruth Penfold, Director of Talent Acquisition, Shazam.

Rebecca Fraser

The most annoying thing is that women require more flexibility than men. Any HR and recruiting role is generally not 9 – 5 so flexibility is really the least of a recruiters concern!

Rebecca Fraser, National Executive Committee, Career Development Association of Australia.

Liz Sebag-Montefiore

Women do seem to be at a disadvantage in reaching top-level roles in the recruitment sector. It can be very competitive but I think the worse problem is that there is still an element of ‘old school tie’ culture and male chauvinism in some firms which alienates female talent and this is exacerbated by a lack of support for flexible working and family friendly working hours. Clarity around expectations and targets, pay banding and development opportunities is essential in encouraging women to apply for promotion.

Liz Sebag-Montefiore,  Director and Co-Founder 10Eighty.

Libby Herrmann

Through the years, I’ve heard that women recruiters are motivated by specific pay structures; this is an antiquated and gender-biased perspective. Women, like all employees, are motivated by a vast array of components that makeup the employee value proposition (EVP). What I have found, in speaking with colleagues and my peer network, is that many women thrive and have a unique passion for the fast-paced, competitive world of recruiting! It’s in our DNA.

Libby Herrmann, Client Relationship Manager at WilsonHCG.

Amanda Bell

From technical candidates: “When do I get to talk to someone technical?” I’ve lost  count of how many times I’ve had to defend my knowledge of our technical stack and my ability as a recruiter because I’m a woman. From other recruiters or others in the industry: “You’re young–are you sure you know what you’re doing?” I’ve interviewed over a thousand candidates and have hired hundreds of them. Yes, I’m I know what I’m doing (most of the time!).

Amanda Bell, Director of Recruiting at Lever.

Angela Bortolussi

“Sorry, we only have a men’s size large t-shirt at this recruitment conference.” I get it’s tough for conferences to have all different style and sizes of t-shirts – but FYI I’m a women’s size small (it would be nice to get a conference t-shirt that fit) ha.

Angela Bortolussi, Partner at Recruiting Social.

Poonam Mawani

We only care about doing the bare minimum work so we can leave on time to go home to our children – you have no idea how mad that makes me!

Poonam Mawani, Director at Azuki Accounts.

By Ushma Mistry

Editor & Content Strategist at Link Humans, download our new eBook now: Measuring Employer Brand: The Ultimate Guide and check out our latest product The Employer Brand Index.