Talent Acquisition

Which Women in Recruitment Do You Admire and Why?

Women make up a large part of the recruitment industry, and a lot of which are leading and innovating the ways in which we approach recruitment, HR, employer branding and more.

So in this week’s panel segment, we ask our experts to discuss which women in recruitment they admire, and why?

Angela Bortolussi

I can say, my mom, right? Haha. She’s been my number one cheerleader in all my career adventures (including supporting me on my move to Los Angeles, California with Recruiting Social) – she’s provided me a wealth of knowledge on the recruitment industry, but most importantly she taught me that failing is okay, we all have bad days, but to always remember, tomorrow is a new day.

Funny fact though, at the young age of 12 she even taught me her 1990s-version of an ATS (using Excel) inputting title in one column, employer in the next column, then highlight the resume for “keywords”.

Angela Bortolussi, Partner at Recruiting Social.

Liz Sebag-Montefiore

Dr Elisabeth Marx is a leadership expert advising the boards and executive teams of multinationals, family owned businesses and private equity firms in Europe, the US and the Middle East. She served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Gender Gap and co-chaired the London Chapter of Women Corporate Directors for Heidrick &  Struggles. She writes for the Financial Times on management issues and is also a consultant at INSEAD’s Global Leadership Centre where she works on a variety of programmes, including the Executive MBA, the AMP and company specific programmes.

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

Lysha Holmes

I admire all women in recruitment, especially those are also bringing up a family. To be able to juggle the responsibilities of raising children combined with the targets of recruitment is a tall order and any woman who manages to gain success in both is a true inspiration to any. However, this should include working dads too!

Lysha Holmes, Owner and Recruiter of Qui Recruitment R2R.


Ruth Penfold

Almost too many to mention, there are so many passionate and clever women in this space. I make it my business to get to know and learn from as many of them as possible. So to anyone I have missed here – you are all power houses and goddesses. Jennifer Candee at Mondelez; for her general ability to run big stuff and make it look easy. Katie-Mai Kong at Hubbub; for the humility, fairness and love she infuses into what she does. Layla Kidwai at Funding Circle; for her passion and enthusiasm to level up recruitment. Jane Reddin at Balderton; for her ambitious, game changing mindset and her passion for building great startups. Noor van Boven now at N26; for her matter of fact approach and unadulterated clarity.

Ruth Penfold, Director of Talent Acquisition, Shazam.

Amanda Bell

I’ve been lucky to know many phenomenal women in my recruiting career, but one really sticks out to me. Laurie Deneschuk, while no longer technically a recruiter, has taught me so much about the way people work and how to build bridges as a leader. I was fortunate to meet her when I first started to people-manage, and she’s coached me through some of the most challenging, exciting, and rewarding experiences in my career. She is also a phenomenal example of how to dig in and build when you change careers – she used to be an engineer, but she’s now the Head of People and Places at Anki.

Amanda Bell, Director of Recruiting at Lever.

Caroline Stokes

I don’t want to play the gender game. I admire men and women in recruitment that are genuine, authentic, display genuine understanding of humanness and demonstrates an ability to learn, grow and evolve the industry for the better. If recruiters can help their companies to thrive, we all win.

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

Libby Herrmann

I admire women who inspire and create opportunities for other women. Women who roll up their sleeves and practice accountability, ownership as well as servant leadership for the teams they lead and serve. With respect to individual contributors and leaders alike, I most admire those who are bold in practicing thought leadership and who aren’t fearful of disrupting status quo.  Overall, I admire the candor and perspective of an optimist and the authentic passion recruitment professionals share for helping others achieve their career aspirations.

Libby Herrmann, Client Relationship Manager at WilsonHCG.

Rebecca Fraser

I would have to say I don’t look at one individual. I admire females that seek to drive innovation and are happy to have the challenging conversation that might support a change in the way that a business recruits or supports females transitioning throughout the workforce.

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





Poonam Mawani

There are not many women in leadership roles in recruitment and that is a great shame, But just some of the amazing women include Melanie Forbes, Tara Ricks, Natasha Clarke and Ann Swain. All have achieved great things whilst remaining true to themselves.

Poonam Mawani, Director at Azuki Accounts.

By Ushma Mistry

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