What’s it like to be a woman in recruitment?
Gender diversity has been an evident issue across a lot of industries for several years. Women make up 47% of the workforce in the UK and 78% of firms in the UK pay men more than women. The IT recruitment industry is still a predominantly male-dominated field. We interviewed our senior delivery consultant Ashleigh Roberts about her experiences working in tech recruitment. She has been working at Berkeley Square IT for 2 years. Read the interview below.
What do you do and what does your typical working day look like?
I’m a Senior Delivery Consultant, which means I handle the candidate side of the recruitment process. A typical working day is spent speaking to the candidates in my network about all of the relevant roles we have for them currently, sourcing candidates, arranging interviews, relaying feedback and negotiating offers. Basically a lot of time on the phone and emailing but it can be quite hectic as everything in recruitment is urgent and you’re always being pulled off onto different tasks mid-way through something else!
How did you end up working in tech in recruitment?
Kind of by accident really! I was feeling really burnt out in my previous role in Legal Services as I had to travel a lot and wanted to find something which was less full on (hah!) and enabled me to put down roots. I had no idea where to start but ended up speaking with a rec2rec who sold me on industry in general and put me forward for three roles in three different sectors – Legal, Tech and Healthcare. I really thought the one in Legal Recruitment would be the most logical transition for me but interviewing I felt a bit like Goldilocks – Tech Recruitment and BSQIT felt “just right”.
What challenges have you faced working in a male-dominated industry?
I think I’ve been lucky in the company I work for as I’ve not really felt any divide in-house – the only annoying thing is the work WhatsApp group being full of football talk! – but I don’t think the same is true everywhere. When discussing the sleazy messages which sometimes come through on LinkedIn with another female colleague here, we were surprised to find out we’d both been made to feel uncomfortable by the same senior manager of another recruitment agency. I really feel for women starting off in places like that as they probably end up completely put off an industry they might have done really well in had they been treated like people instead of objects.
What do you think businesses need to do to encourage more women to consider a career in the tech industry?
This is such a difficult question but I think of a lot of it has to do with the perception of tech as this “boys’ club”. I think companies need to do more to showcase the achievements of women within their ranks so young girls can see that not only is a career in tech a possibility but that it’s an environment women can thrive in.
How has working at BSQIT been different from other experiences in your career?
BSQIT has quite a flat structure so it feels like we all get a say in things going on within the business and are trusted to run our own schedules. After spending a long time being self-employed, it was great not to go back to endless red tape and middle-management!
What advice would you give to a woman working in recruitment?
Find your voice and use it!
What was your dream job as a child?
I really wanted to be an interior designer but I didn’t think that was a “real” job because my only reference was programmes like “Changing Rooms”. I thought it was like wanting to be a celebrity ?
What are your hobbies?
Funnily enough, I still managed to pursue my dream of being an interior designer in a small way by renovating my Victorian terrace. I’d say that probably takes up the majority of my free time but I also like running and exploring new restaurants in Bristol.
Connect with Ashleigh Roberts on LinkedIn.
If you’re looking for a job in the tech recruitment industry, please view our latest roles here.