We are fortunate here at Venn to have a diverse team that embraces female talent. With an almost 50/50 split from our management right the way through to our digital apprentices.
As we celebrate the talent we have in-house, we also wanted to reach out to our clients. As an agency deeply integrated within the recruitment industry, we are proud of the Marketers, Managers and Directors that make up our incredible client base.
To honour International Women's Day 2021 and the immense talent we work with, we sat down with a handful of inspiring women in recruitment to hear their stories, remarkable achievements, and the advice they would like to pass on.
- Rachel Davis, joint Managing Director at Armstrong Craven.
- Lucy Neal, Group Marketing Manager and DEI Chair at Trinnovo Group.
- Lauren Langdell, Associate Director at Trust In SODA and Founder of Women in DevOps.
- Kate Harding, Marketing Manager at Montreal Associates.
Who inspires you?
Rachel: "I've taken bits from lots of different people throughout my journey, but someone that stands out is Greta Thunberg. She does not have a playbook, she burst onto the scene, she has no hang-ups about being a woman or her place in society. She genuinely thought, someone has to do something, it can be me, and that has opened the eyes of people, particularly young people. She's inspiring."
Kate: "I don’t have just one person who inspires me, and I think it’s important to be inspired by different people throughout your life and career. More importantly, your manager or boss should always be someone you are inspired by. Otherwise, why else are you working with them if it’s not to gain inspiration and guidance to help grow and develop yourself?
It’s most certainly been the case in my career so far and I’ve been extremely lucky to have worked alongside some incredibly talented, ambitious, and humble people (you know who you are)."
Lucy: "Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, is inspirational as she leads with empathy, compassion and kindness and demonstrates such strong leadership. Also, the remarkable work of Greta Thunberg, who stands up to fight climate change throughout the world."
Lauren: "The founders of Trust in Soda, who have pushed me and believed in me for the last 5 years. They have grown an incredibly successful business from the ground up with so much care to every employee and the wider community with a commitment to integrity and passion."
What's your greatest achievement?
Lauren: "Relocating continents at the start of a global pandemic in 2020 and sticking it out!"
Rachel: "I'm particularly proud of taking the business through a management buyout in 2018, that was a new challenge and experience for me, and we were able to take Armstrong Craven into a new chapter. Following on from that is the stage we are in now. We are a 75% employee-owned business and experiencing that journey from within has been really exciting."
Kate: "So far… Buying my dream first home at age 24. Hard work pays off! Work wise – it has to be bringing the rebrand of Montreal Associates to life."
Lucy: "Travelling solo throughout New Zealand and Australia. This pushed me to be completely out of my comfort zone and created the confidence I have today."
What's your number one piece of advice for women in business?
Rachel: "I have advice but It's not limited to women. Have belief in yourself. Your gender shouldn't come into it. You have every right to push ahead in your career. Don't let people put you in a box or label you.
There are parts of recruitment that are still quite male-dominated. But this makes my advice even more important. If you're faced with a male-dominated world, don't get thrown off course. Stick to your own principles."
Lucy: "Embrace who you are, focus on your strengths, work on your weaknesses. When you learn how to amplify your positive traits, you become unstoppable."
Lauren: "Believe in yourself and your ideas. Imposter syndrome is real and don't let it hold you back from the opportunities you deserve and have worked so hard for!"
Kate: "To those looking to start a career in business or just starting out – don’t be scared about making mistakes. When you do, don’t waste time beating yourself up about them - instead, use them to your advantage to learn and showcase your growth in bettering yourself in what you do."
What does it take to be a woman in recruitment?
Lauren: "Grit, tenacity & pure passion. It's not an easy job but the rewards and acceleration of growth compared to other industries outweigh the long days and emotional rollercoasters. We work with people, not products and have to put them and their families first to put them in their dream roles."
Rachel: "Curiosity. Recruitment is about people, so a curiosity in people, business, and the wider world is crucial to success in the industry, no matter what gender you are."
Lucy: "The world is diverse; however, it isn't always inclusive for all. As recruiters, we have the ability to inspire change in the workplace. As a woman in recruitment, it takes dedication, drive and passion to thrive and empower organisations. At Trinnovo I adore the fact that we are given the platform to focus on people and purpose over profit."
Kate: "Being ambitious and confident in yourself and what you believe (no matter how hard it is sometimes to do so). I love that people in this industry are straight-talking and strong-minded, so you definitely need to thrive off this type of environment."
What's your secret superpower?
Kate: "Recently with the pandemic, I think it’s been positivity for me."
Lucy: "I can rap all of Nicky Minaj and Kanye West's Monster' song."
Lauren: "I can smell food a mile off, you have a tuna sandwich in your bag. I know about it!"
Rachel: "Curiosity. As a leader and Director of people, you have to show that. I don't think it's a superpower but.. I believe it's what has got me this far."
It was inspiring speaking with our clients about the importance of women in the recruitment industry and seeing their values reflected in ours here at Venn.
As a female Marketing Manager reporting into a female Ops Director and working alongside several strong women at Venn, I am proud of the approach that Venn takes towards women in tech and the opportunities we provide for those looking to join the industry.
There's never been a better time to join a business that embraces digital or develop a new skill, so we hope this piece has inspired you to take on a new challenge. If you wish to learn more about our values or how you could become part of the team, take a look at our careers page. We look forward to hearing from you.