March is Women’s History Month. In recognition and celebration of the vital role of women everywhere, we wanted to pull five relevant and top takeaways from a recent Fireside Chat in which Parqa’s Vice President of Sales, Kelli Schutrop spoke with four leaders in the staffing industry:
- Emma Garber, VP, Insight Global
- Brindy Pickett, VP, Insight Global
- Kaltrina Riley, Head of Marketing, Pride Global
- Jenny Davis, VP, Pride Global
Kelli’s candid conversation was a refreshingly revealing assessment of leadership in staffing and recruiting with some of the most inspiring women in the industry. Here are five crucial takeaways from their conversation:
1) The benefits of an inverse support system
Many leaders in the staffing industry have become scrappy and resourceful. That’s the nature of the work. One key discovery in becoming more resourceful was learning how to utilize an inverse support system. They’ve discovered new ways to build community and to contribute to the community that’s around them.
Sometimes, everything goes wrong, whether it’s childcare falling through, something at your kid’s school, a nanny calling out sick. This can be especially stressful for the many women who don’t live close to family – then what’s your backup?
This became especially critical during COVID, when many women came together to build an untraditional support network, such as coworkers and neighbors. And even though, in some cases, they couldn’t be more different from one another, they learned to lean on each other for everything – from parenting tips to professional strategies.
2) Spoiler alert: you’re going to let some people down (don’t let it be your family)
If we’re going to be models for others in the industry, we have to be genuine and vulnerable about the reality that we don’t have it all together all the time. Many of us struggle to maintain this thin veneer of perfection.
That isn’t genuine. To admit that can actually be very humanizing. Learn to share those vulnerabilities and stop glorifying the “grind.” Life isn’t about just being busy.
Women especially have so many spinning plates, and sometimes, it’s okay to let a plate drop. And that’s okay. You’re going to disappoint somebody, you just have to disappoint the right people. Be choosy and, if it can be avoided, disappoint someone who isn’t your family.
3) Prioritization and adjusting household expectations (and, thank goodness for nannies!)
Understand the importance of childcare and the ramifications when you don’t have access to childcare – especially for working parents.
Many of us are fortunate enough to have a nanny on whom we can depend in times when we really need the extra help. It’s a critical component to giving us the space we need to prioritize what’s important and what we can let go of.
One thing we’re finally beginning to realize is how important it is to make yourself a priority. Don’t feel guilty about adjusting your household expectations to make yourself a priority. That is one thing we’ve truly learned, to take time for ourselves. When we allow ourselves “me time,” we can not only be better, happier moms, but better at our job as well.
4) Keep an open mindset and ability to learn
Jenny brought up a great point with Pride Global’s Dojo program. The idea is modeled after a dojo in karate. If you’re new to karate, or any sort of martial arts, you begin as a white belt. You’re not expected to know moves. You’re not expected to know the basics. You’re just expected to be open-minded and to learn.
This translates to so many people’s professional careers as well. Whether you’re just starting a job as a new administrative assistant or as a senior-level market lead, everyone comes in on the same playing field. Over time, we all have the same opportunity to elevate ourselves and advance.
By being open and always willing to learn something new, we’re taking the first step toward doing great work and bettering ourselves and our professional careers.
5) Celebrate your accomplishments!
Historically, many women still find it difficult to be frank about their accomplishments and their potential. Even in 2022, many women are still not encouraged to promote themselves. This needs to change.
Kelli asked each of our contributors to discuss something they’ve accomplished that they’re proud of and has helped others in the staffing industry and/or their organization.
- Emma: Founding Women’s Leadership Council. Emma helped to revolutionize the maternity leave experience at Insight Global and with the Women’s Leadership Council, helped professional women come together, and empowered other women across the industry to create new support systems.
- Brindy: As a co-founder of the Women’s Leadership Council, Brindy was able to bring a community together and support women, help them advance in their careers, and formed groundbreaking partnerships with other people in the organization and industry.
- Kaltrina: Launching Decidedly Diverse at Pride Global which addresses obstacles that disproportionately affect underrepresented people and companies of diverse backgrounds. Kaltrina says, “It’s just been awesome to be part of that, and thinking through diversity, equity inclusion, and how that is really in everything that we do as an organization.”
- Jenny: Advocating for women and motherhood in the marketplace and a feature in a recent Vanity Fair article.