Emily Lewis

After a fixed term contract in HR for a Charity protecting Young Women and Girls in London; I joined Finlay James as a Talent Consultant, recruiting Salespeople into Technology Sales sector.

I earned one of the fasted first promotions in my companies history, through perseverance and self-educating, and guidance from my peers. Shortly after joining, I realised that there was a huge lack of Women both in the Recruitment sector and, primarily, in the Tech sector. Less that 20% of our current database were Women, and the majority of clients & candidates that we engaged with were Male.

I decided to focus my time on headhunting, building relationships with, and networking with Women, to raise more awareness and promote the conversation, and ensure there were more Women being introduced to our clients.

I actively encouraged Women to join my network, and grew my connections from 20 to over 3k in around a year, mostly with inspiring, hard-working and, unfortunately, under-recognised Women. through speaking with Women, I noticed that they all shared the same fear within the industry – firstly that their jobs were at risk from their Male counter-parts, but also that they were being underpaid in comparison to their Male colleagues, sometimes by only a few percent, but sometimes as substantially as 10-20% less.

Knowing this, I knew I had to do something, so I actively started working with clients who were committed to increasing diversity, who were looking for talented female salespeople. I made it very clearly when working with Women that I was completely aware of the gender pay gap, that my primary focus was to ensure more Women had access to opportunities and that they were getting the recognition they deserved.

On the side, I began researching the gender splits, writing blogs, posts and making videos about the benefits of having a diverse workforce (please see my blogs on LinkedIn), and working on a consultancy basis around their hiring strategies, including looking at job descriptions, advertisements, hiring processes and on-boarding. I found that many companies who had an all-male leadership team, hadn’t taken into account the possibility that they may experience unconscious bias within their processes.

On top of this, I average 17%-19% pay-rises in 2018 for my Female candidates, ensuring they were getting the pay they deserved. In 2017/18 – 66% of my placements were Women, way above industry standard, which is only 9%!!

I don’t refuse to work with Men, especially if someone is referred to me, or if they are the right match for a specific need of a client, because I am firm believer that in any case, the client deserves the best person for the job; my ethos works on the principle that a Woman is less likely to directly apply, or to move roles, unless she feels she meets 95% of the criteria, so what I like to do is to encourage that Woman that she CAN do it, she CAN get a pay-rise, and she CAN be more successful in a new position.

More than anything, I find my job much more fulfilling on a day to day basis. I enjoy having my personal and professional lives running concurrently, to bring my values and ethos to my job, so it’s so much more than a typical sales/recruitment role, but I genuinely believe that I’m raising awareness, celebrating Women’s successes and increasing diversity within the Tech Sector every day. This isn’t just a job for me, it’s my life. I appreciate I’m not changing the world in a larger sense, through working in the 3rd Sector or saving lives in the NHS, and I’m lucky enough to receive commission for my work,but when a person spends 45 years at employment age, and 35% of that is at work, I want to make sure that people love the job that they do as much as I do – and that’s a blessing to be able to do.

I know I’m a very small fish, in a very big pond, but I love what I do, and I’m very committed to the the Championing of Women in the Tech Sector.