Wednesday 8 March is International Women’s Day in 2023 and whilst we want to celebrate, we want to make sure we spotlight the work of some of the incredible women we work with and alongside.
So each day this week, we’ll be sharing the story of a different woman leading businesses and divisions. Today it’s our very own Finance Director, Selena Charles! Selena is the beating heart of both bpesearch and the other organisation in our group, Better Placed Recruitment.
Who most inspired your career or mentored you to your level of success?
Growing up, I had a lot of inspiration from famous figures to family friends but I’d have to give the most credit to my parents.
Having come against adversity as a mixed race couple they instilled in me the importance of a good education. Not just a good education but good grades! They told me I’d come across a lot of challenges through my career so to have a good education was a the ideal starting point to push through those barriers.
I listened but like most children probably didn’t really take on board the extent of what they were saying. It wasn’t until university when I did a module on Women in Management I really saw the challenges I had ahead. I wrote my assignment on the “concrete ceiling” and just thought; wow this working life is going to be tough and my parents were right!
That made me determined I was going to get the career I wanted and push through any barriers that were thrown at me.
What policies or practices does your organisation have in place to allow women to thrive?
Everyone is treated as an individual regardless of gender, ethnicity or any other part of their identity. We have been implementing a diverse approach to both recruitment and current employees for a number of years and we continue to lean and grow as a organisation in its diversity and inclusion.
We have acknowledged that the need in our organisation goes beyond just D&I. Other factors include, flexibility needed through hybrid working and more recently the introduction of mental health awareness and education on menopause in the workplace which our leadership team are all involved in.
These have been taboo subjects that as an organisation we want to understand so that we can support people in the way they need for the circumstances which face them. Especially since 62% of our workforce are women!
How do you try and pass down support and mentorship to women in your industry or organisation?
Support is multi-faceted and includes, personal development, making myself available and really listening to where people want to go in their career and current role.
Then it becomes about offering the concrete support and tools to get there – whether it’s training and mentoring from me or an external body to develop their skills fully. Continuous encouragement to ensure individuals believe in themselves is important to then getting to those goals.