This year's International Women's Day theme #ChooseToChallenge represents the idea of challenging norms related to gender equality to create change. At EPM Scientific, we choose to challenge and promote gender diversity and inclusion.
Kennedy Stewart, VP- Strategic Client Advisor at EMP Scientific, shares her thoughts on this year's theme, and how she chooses to challenge in her role.
What does the #ChooseToChallenge message mean to you?
To me #ChooseToChallenge means not only being aware and mindful but taking an active position in challenging ourselves and others to think, communicate and take action for equality.
What sort of conversations around gender equality do you have with your clients in your role? Has Covid-19 had an impact on gender equality?
I have been having more and more conversations with clients looking deeper into gender equality and diversity within their teams. It is important to know what teams are more diverse, at what levels and if there is a reason why. These are important conversations to be aware, alert and enables everyone to make more informed decisions.
What role can recruiters play in challenging norms and creating change?
Starting the conversation with our clients to create awareness around their hiring. We are able to support our partners diverse hiring plans and proactive hiring goals by providing diverse talent.
What advice would you give to a company trying to create a diverse hiring strategy?
I believe this will be different at all companies but would recommend starting with an analysis of where you are currently (where to start: what's the current diversity look like: per department? per level? at senior levels? at executive and board level? is everyone paid fairly?). What are strengths and weaknesses of your company when it comes to hiring and retaining diverse talent? Then look at how you can highlight the strengths and improve the weaknesses. I would recommend training around unconscious bias. If you haven't implemented some level of flexibility around hours and working from home (if possible in the role) that's a great change to consider.
As a female leader, what advice would you give to other aspiring leaders in overcoming potential gender biases and achieving career success?
There are multiple ways to succeed in anything you do, be aware of your strengths and how to utilize them for your success. Finding your way to succeed is way more powerful than fitting the mold of people who succeeded before you.
About Kennedy Stewart
Kennedy Stewart joined Phaidon International, EPM Scientific's parent company, in 2016 as a recruitment consultant in San Francisco. Her role is now VP, Strategic Client Advisor and she has spent the last 3.5 years as the first member of our Preferred Partnership Program on the West Coast focused on developing Life Science partnerships. She is passionate about the work our clients do and our role in finding them top talent.
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