International Women’s Day 2023 - Interview with women of Castlefield Group International:
Women’s Day is a global celebration of the socio-economic, political, cultural, and political achievements of women and recognises the challenges women can face in different walks of life. The day aims to push us towards a gender equal world by addressing the issues that may be limiting women and girls.
This year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, Castlefield Group interviewed some of the amazing women across our workforce to explore their journeys and understand what women empowerment means to them.
What do you believe are the benefits of having empowered women in the organisation?
Becky Booth – Principal Consultant:
There are multiple benefits, some of which are:
Elise Ogden – Director:
Women who are empowered are able to reach their full potential. This inspires other members of the organisation to work hard to achieve their goals. There’s also great personal satisfaction for those achieving their goals knowing they did it themselves.
Sydney Seddon – Senior Resourcer:
Having visibly empowered women in the office increases morale amongst us as a group, in turn encouraging each other to strive for more and progress.
What do you do to empower yourself and other women around you?
A lot of what I do to empower myself is to make sure my support networks are robust- childcare, supportive husband, family around me that can pick up the home life when I have busy periods at work. I also surround myself with other strong, career driven women. Most of my friends are working mums and understand what goes into balancing this.
I have had strong female mentors previously that I could troubleshoot issues with if needed and I have utilised a Career coach which has enabled me to navigate some tricky times in the past. I also act as a mentor myself, for other women within previous companies and I will be doing the same at Castlefield.
I believe women should have a voice and every opinion is valid. I speak up for myself and the women in the business to ensure their ideas and opinions are heard.
I empower myself and those around me by creating an upbeat, inclusive environment where women can confide in each other and lift each other up so we are in the best possible position to excel in any given situation.
What piece of advice would you give to women trying to establish themselves in their careers?
Surround yourself with supportive people, friends, managers, colleagues and stay away from negative people that gossip or put you down - it only serves to negatively effect your mind set.
Anything worth having takes hard work and dedication. Be mindful of what you take in, be it good or bad. Surround yourself with the people you aspire to be like and be extremely observant. Every moment is an opportunity to learn. The learning never ever stops.
It is easy to compare yourself and your progress to those around you. I would always say to just focus on yourself, where you want to be and what you have to do to get there, and you will be there in no time.
What are the most important challenges you’ve had to overcome to fulfil your job?
Definitely having had children and coming back from maternity leave when your interim numbers have diminished. You have to work to get your daybook back to where it used to be, whilst still balancing the demands of a home life. It takes a whole new level of determination, grit, and flexibility.
Learning that something being difficult only gets easier with practice. There were days where I wanted to quit because the sales aspect of the role was so tough, I didn’t want to pick up the phone, but I did it anyway and it was never as bad as I feared. Every time I picked up the phone it got easier and easier until eventually it became second nature. There are still plenty of scenarios that make me nervous but I’ve learned that bravery isn’t “not being scared” it’s actually “being scared but doing it anyway”.
Why is it important that more women reach senior levels in recruitment?
Without retaining women in leadership roles, companies are losing out on some of their best talent.
Without diversity within your own organisations how can we effectively prove to our clients that we will also recruit with D&I in mind?
Because women are the best recruiters! Joking. I’ve met so many women throughout my career that are absolute killer recruiters and why on earth wouldn’t we have the best people leading the way for all the people coming in the industry?
I always feel it is significant to recognise and celebrate when a woman gets a promotion and moves to a senior position as this can inspire the junior staff within the organisation to want to achieve the same whilst also giving them someone to look up/relate to.
What do you think is the biggest issue women your age face?
For many women my age the issue is often (not always) the challenges of having children and working in an intense industry with long hours. It can be done but it takes a lot of hard work and support.
Not necessary women my age but all women in the work force. The world is changing so much at the moment. It’s so hard to know what’s happening one week to the next. Change is a good thing but it feels uncomfortable and not everybody can move at the same pace. We all need to be patient, but the right conversations are happening and we’re all on this journey together.
It would most likely be the negative attitudes and mindsets of people in many aspects of life. People can often be dismissive of women’s feelings and opinions. This can be very discouraging and leave women not wanting to express themselves.