International Women's Day - Q&A with our Consultant Chloe Maloney

Which woman do you admire the most and why?

My mother, I think that is a pretty standard answer, but she has overcome much more adversity than I could ever imagine and has raised me to be the woman I am today.

Which women have supported or inspired you in your career path?

Every woman who has seen me, mainly HR partners at clients who recognise the work I do. Special thanks to a wonderful HR Partner called Emma Owen who made me realise my abilities and offered me so much confidence and friendship in my first year of my career. It can take such a simple action to make you feel able and worthy, and thanks to Emma I will share that ethos and feeling with every other female I interact with.

Why do we need more balanced workplaces?

Diversity in all aspects is a beneficial thing – it allows businesses to thrive, grow, innovate (and also attract and retain top talent). Every McKinsey report on DE&I since 2015 has evidenced a strong link between diverse teams and financial outperformance, but it is also the culture of embracing diversity and listening to the experiences and opinions of all employees that fosters this positive outcome.

In your opinion, why is it important that more women take up recruitment in the near future?

I enjoy using my job to promote diversity in the workplace. I keep tabs on psychological research and implement practices in my own actions as a talent partner, but also to improve the hiring practices of my clients. Simple changes include longer shortlists matching or exceeding industry gender balance, thinking outside the box regarding industry, succession planning, ensuring interview panels are gender-diverse, and that neutral language is used. These practices apply to all aspects of DE&I, not just gender.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?

Yes, many. Mainly being assumed to be inferior to my male colleagues, or having high-level executives ask only the male colleagues at the table questions, even though I am presenting.

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Go for it! Don’t follow the rules, if you want it, reach for it, and if you can do 50% of the job just apply! The job may change around you, and your personal attributes are the most important – (HBR article to prove it).

International Women’s Day’s theme this year is #EmbraceEquity, how can organisations promote equity in the workplace?

The steps suggested above. In addition to this, wage openness and equality. Viewing time off for motherhood as valued work experience (the operational skills learned can be more than years of people management experience!). Also personal development plans and supporting internal promotion of diverse talent. But listening is the main way – Employee engagement surveys focussed on equity are a great place to start.

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