A lack of role models is keeping women out of senior positions, as hiring managers tend to hire individuals who are more similar to themselves, according to Dr Suzanne Doyle-Morris, director of FemaleBreadWinners.com. Research has shown managers tend to mentor on their own likeness, so white males tend to be picked for interesting positions and given more opportunities.
Gender diversity has been in the glare of the media spotlight in recent years, with a particular emphasis on the lack of female representation in senior roles within Financial Services.
However, there is one company breaking the mould of male dominance in the City. What’s more, this company is a leading specialist recruiter for the Financial Services industry itself. BRUIN Financial is a privately owned recruitment firm with over 40 consultants – and its entire senior management team is female.
The gender split of the company is roughly 50 / 50, which in itself is unusual for recruitment, but an all female senior management team is even more striking given the Financial Services sector is one in which women typically represent less than 25% of senior positions.
“It was never a conscious decision to promote based on gender” explains Kirstin Duffy, COO of BRUIN Financial. “The last 4 years have been some of the toughest in my 18 years’ experience in Financial Services recruitment. During this time, the women at BRUIN Financial have been pivotal to our phenomenal growth – not only have they provided strong leadership, but 8 out of our top 10 performers are women, some of whom work part-time having returned from maternity leave.”
“Whilst we’re proud to be different, we are also advocates of the fact that everyone should be hired and promoted on the basis of skill, not gender” adds Ellen Mulvey, Director and Head of Temporary and Contract Recruitment at BRUIN Financial, “It’s a core value of our business, both in terms of how we operate and how we recruit for our clients”.
“Any gender bias is damaging to your business, particularly in a competitive market for talent” says Emily Ayre, Director and Head of Permanent Recruitment at BRUIN Financial. “Financial Services firms without a recruitment strategy for gender diversity, particularly for women in senior leadership roles, are losing the war for talent. We’ve seen a marked increase in the number of candidates being offered tailored benefits and reward packages, which include child care provisions and flexibility for both men and women. By providing a supportive environment, companies can reap the many benefits of having more women in the workplace. I think what BRUIN has achieved proves that.”
“To be the very best at what you do requires the very best people. By following this ethos, BRUIN Financial has achieved something exceptional in the financial services sector.” says Arun Batra, Director at Ernst & Young and CEO of the National Equality Standard (NES). “Their management team is a testament to the value of women in director roles and in turn allows them to offer a unique proposition to their clients and candidates. BRUIN is a fantastic example of the tangible benefits of diversity and equality in the workplace, integrated into everyday business”.