I joined Pick Everard having worked in finance for most of my career. The finance and construction industries are known for being predominantly male and it would be easy to assume that employers are unsympathetic or don’t appreciate the need gender representation or the need to perhaps fit family life in around work.
When I was made redundant from my last job I started looking for companies that had good values, were committed to bringing graduates up to senior levels and one which recognised and promoted women. During some interviews I was asked some really shocking questions – how old I was, what were my commitments outside of work ie did I have children? I wondered whether these questions were also being asked of my husband and knew that these companies weren’t right.
Pick Everard, however, was completely different and it’s clear that it is a firm that really supports women and wants to promote talent – regardless of gender. Having transferable skills from my last role stood me in really good stead and I’m delighted to have joined as a framework manager.
The message I would like to promote on International Women’s Day is the idea that no industry is gendered – as a woman, you can change industries and don’t be daunted by the prospect of being in the minority. Stereotypes have held women back for a long time and it can be difficult when you’re looking for a new job if you also have a family to consider but employers are a lot more open to supporting talent than you may think and will work hard to keep you if you’re the right fit.
I think it’s important to dispel these stereotypes at a young age. I have two young sons and I’m teaching them the importance of treating everyone equally – not placing a gender on certain jobs and trying to open their minds to show them that anyone can do anything they want.