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Women in Recruitment: Choose to Challenge Yourself in 2021

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The theme of 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD) is Choose to Challenge. As the global pandemic’s impact has further illuminated, everyone faces different challenges regarding their personal and professional lives. However, one universal theme to come out of this pandemic is managing priorities. How are you spending your time, and are you making the impact you desire? 

In the lead-up to IWD this year, we hosted an event to bring women in recruitment together to discuss facing and overcoming challenges many executives see today, including effective communication, reaching and leading at a C-level, and balancing expectations. 

The event featured Erin Meyer, author of the international best-selling book: “The Culture Map” and Professor at INSEAD; Rika Coppens, CEO of House of HR; Janette Marx, CEO of Airswift; Giovanna Fontana, Regional Finance Dir. Mediterranean & SE Europe of Manpower; and Leah McKelvey, Regional Vice President, Enterprise EMEA at Bullhorn.

Read on for key takeaways from this session, including how you can overcome obstacles and grow in your career.

Effective Communication

In this era of video conferencing and digital messages, effectively communicating across various audiences and mediums is critical as a leader. Erin Meyer shared how you can challenge yourself to enhance and fine-tune your communication styles, especially across different countries and cultures.

When communicating on a global scale, it’s vital to consider how different cultures perceive one another based on their position on a culture map: a field-tested model for decoding how cultural differences impact international businesses regarding concepts such as communication, feedback, and trust. You can use Erin Meyer’s free personal assessment and culture-mapping tool here.

For cultures with a low-context communication style, individuals assume there is a low-level of shared reference points. Here, effective communication is simple and straightforward, and we’re very focused on clarity of communication.

Alternatively, in cultures with a high-context communication style, individuals share many reference points in the conversation. In a high-context culture, good communication is often nuanced and implicit.

Understanding where different cultures are on the culture map – whether high-context or low-context – helps reduce the likelihood of miscommunication. Erin explains one reason that miscommunication can occur between cultures:

 

During her research, Erin discovered that within the last 15 years, businesses are progressively moving towards being more relationship-oriented. How does this impact your team and how you communicate? 

 

It’s all about trust and investing in more time building relationships, especially with global teams. Take time to understand how your team members work and how to best communicate with them to achieve mutual goals. If their style of communication differs from yours, take time during meetings to ensure everyone is heard.

 

As a reminder, you can use Erin Meyer’s free personal assessment and culture-mapping tool here.

Reaching and Leading at a C-Level

Next, we heard directly from women leaders at the highest levels of the global recruitment industry. Our panel of experts shared insights from their own experiences of challenging barriers, driving change, and supporting each other. 

We heard from Rika Coppens, CEO of House of HR; Janette Marx, CEO of Airswift; Giovanna Fontana, Regional Finance Dir. Mediterranean & SE Europe of Manpower; and Leah McKelvey, Regional Vice President, Enterprise EMEA at Bullhorn.

On making an impact:

On having a sense of purpose:

On the importance of building up your team:

On supporting each other:

Balancing Expectations and Commitments

Our panel of experts also shared how to navigate communication barriers and how they grew their careers amidst challenges. They also discussed the challenges many of us face consistently in managing expectations and priorities professionally and personally.

On building your personal brand:

On limitations:

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On committing to growth:

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On embracing change:

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Thank you to Erin Meyer, Rika Coppens, Janette Marx, Giovanna Fontana, and Leah McKelvey for sharing your insight and advice with the session attendees. And a special thank you to our sponsors for helping us host this event: CloudCall, Cube19, and Kyloe.


We are spotlighting Australian recruitment leaders who have challenged themselves and their teams and elevated the recruitment industry. To read their stories and learn more about women in recruitment, International Women’s Day, and Choosing to Challenge in 2021, click here.