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How Women Can Become Leaders in the Recruitment Industry

Updated: Apr 6

Recruitment Needs More Female Leaders!

The recruitment industry needs more women in leadership roles, here are just a number of ways we can help achieve this.

Commit to Change

Making gender diversity a goal within your recruitment business will hold you accountable to make this change. The good news is this is pretty simple to do, once you’ve worked out your authentic and realistic commitment, share this on places such as your website, social media and internal job descriptions.

If you commit to this publicly, trust will help ensure you attract and retain employees as well as other key stakeholders. Not only this, it is these commitments will help fundamentally drive the much-needed change on how women are viewed and perceived in leadership roles and the wider workplace and industry.

Provide Opportunities for Women in Your Workplace

How will women think and act like leaders if they aren’t given opportunities? Within your recruitment business give women opportunities to thrive and to be empowered, this could be leading the way in a client pitch, presenting ideas to stakeholders maybe even suggesting new ways of working.

Be sure to consider any challenges that may arise and ensure to provide full support, to help make their success a reality. If things don’t go so well the first time around, that’s ok! Provide a platform for them to reflect, learn and improve and give them another chance!

It's a Balancing Act

Just because a woman may have a family, she is no less capable of delivering in a leadership role. Employers must ensure that their flexible working policies give all employees the balance that they require to fulfil both their lives in and outside of work. Happy, valued and supported employees will be in a mindset to deliver and succeed at work. The pandemic may have elevated the delivery of flexible working but has your business to enough to support your employees?

Although flexibility benefits all employees, a recent LinkedIn research found that job vacancies that included flexible working attracted 26% more female applicants. Include any benefits or flexible working information in any internal job descriptions, so applicants are aware. Don’t just write a policy and leave it in your handbook, discuss it with all current and new employees helping them to understand how they can utilise these policies fully. Consider getting regular feedback from employees on things such as current working hours, flexible working arrangements and maternity policies to help identify if any areas require improvement.


How well do you know what your employees want? What are their goals, ambitions or dreams? Where do they see themselves in 5 years' time? If you don’t know these answers, then go and ask these questions.

Once you understand employees’ aspirations then you can set about creating the optimum working environment for them. Those who are looking for genuine career progression and promotion may already be looking for opportunities to grow and develop. If employees aren’t ready to move into a leadership role just now, rather than them continuing to plateau, consider putting a short or long term promotion plan in place or have them attend a training course to widen their skills and knowledge.

Taking the time to have conversations like this within your recruitment business will help you retain the talent within your business, enabling the right people to move and transition into leadership roles when the time is right.


Mentors are a great way to support professional development. Having support from someone more experienced can help future and current leaders set goals, be a sounding board for ideas and provide worthwhile feedback. The company Moving Ahead helps delivers internal, sector-specific and cross-company structured mentors, a 2022 survey said ‘In addition, 50% of mentor businesses have seen increases to their estimated turnover, and 57% said there has been an impactful change in the stage of growth of their business.’

I connected with a mentor last year, and it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In my mentoring sessions, I have taken time to consider where I want to be in the future, what my short term and long goals are and have set out a clear plan on how I can achieve this. Not only this, I have learned significantly more about the recruitment industry and have felt empowered enough to start my own community of women in recruitment.

Finding the right mentor for you isn’t easy and for me, it was a bit of a minefield of where to begin, so following on from this my next article will delve deeper into the benefits of getting a mentor and how you can go about finding the right mentor for you.

Interested in this topic? Then read my recent article on why it is important to have a female presence in your leadership team.


New UK research: Mentoring is improving gender balance in organisations — Moving Ahead

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