Back to blogs

International Women's Day 2021: An interview with Bethan Howell

Posted on March 2021 By Selby Jennings

Blog Img

A challenging world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. 

At Selby Jennings, we choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, we have an interview with Bethan Howell, Vice President at Selby Jennings, Hong Kong, let's find out how she chooses to challenge.

What does the #ChooseToChallenge message mean to you in the Financial Services industry?

To me, The #ChooseToChallenge message means not staying quiet and accepting negative behaviour. In a client-facing role, I think that there are many occasions that I have felt it can be easier to accept rather than challenge, however, without challenge, there is a lack of learning and growth! ​

What sort of conversations around gender equality do you have with your clients and candidates in your role? Has Covid-19 had an impact on gender equality?

Daily, we discuss with our clients how we can help support the hiring process with equality in mind.  

What role can recruiters play in challenging norms and creating change?

We can share our experience on how we have seen successful hiring with gender equality in mind, as well as sharing evidence on how a more gender-equal team positively affect performance and culture. 

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

There is a well known Hewlett-Packard study on job applications, and how when men apply for a job, they are happy to submit their application when they meet only 60 per cent of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100 per cent. There is often a lack of belief in ability, and an 'imposter syndrome' type viewpoint from many women that we speak to regularly, which I think echoes the findings of this study. 

It is vitally important that both the line managers and HR to understand that people may present themselves in different ways, with a different confidence level, BUT this absolutely does not always reflect their capability to perform the role. 

As a female leader, what advice would you give to other aspiring leaders in overcoming potential gender biases and achieving career success?

Utilize your strengths and leadership qualities! Do not try and fit into a box of how others have led, as a woman, you do often have different skills, knowledge, experience and emotions. I have been told that you need to be less emotional or not to expose your feelings at work, however, I think as long as you can handle the emotion I do think it allows you to show your sincerity/passion/relatability as a leader.

About Bethan Howell

Bethan Howell is the Vice President for the Quant Tech team at Selby Jennings in Hong Kong. 

Visit other International Women's Day or Diversity & Inclusion related content

D&I content

In this article