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International Women's Day 2020: An interview with Bethan Howell

Posted on March 2020

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​What does #EachForEqual mean to the financial services industry in Hong Kong? How do we get gender equality between male and female in the job market?

This year's International Women's Day's campaign is #EachforEqual. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. In 2020, we can choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.

We have interviewed with Bethan Howell, Managing Principle Consultant covering Financial Services market recruitment in Hong Kong.

The 2020 International Women’s Day theme is that an equal world is an enabled world. What does that mean to you in the Procurement & Supply Chain function across the Asia Pacific region?

'Equality' for me in the financial services industry, means simply that people are measured on their capabilities. This means that each person that enters an interview or meeting starts on an equal playing field, no matter of their gender.

Is gender equality a topic that often comes up in conversations with candidates and companies?

It is an increasing conversation that coming up with our clients, particularly Human Resources. They are trying to make sure that the infrastructure around hiring does not allow bias to take place. We are also now seeing candidates raise diversity as an important point for them to see in a future employer. We hope that this will put more emphasis on the importance of equality for companies.

What role can recruiters play in creating an equal world?

We need to make sure we are partnering with our clients on building the correct framework for equality in the workplace so that we can share with our clients how we see their competitors or other companies diversifying their workforce. For example, sharing information on successful return to work programs for women returning to the workplace after having children.   

What advice would you give to a company that trying to create a diverse hiring strategy?

Companies need to make sure they are being proactive about welcoming women. This can be achieved through various tools, but they should be clearly stating that they want to hire, support and promote women.

Education in the region is also something that really needs to be pushed by our clients to all their hiring managers. The lack of training and education for many teams has meant that some hiring managers do not even see the lack of inequality as a problem.

Bethan and team have extensive experience in recruiting for financial services talent in Hong Kong. Speak to Bethan for more #EachForEqual hiring tips.

Collectively, each of us can help create a gender-equal world.

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