The recruitment industry has a reputation as a male-dominated field. Whilst more and more women are achieving senior roles, there is still a long way to go. For International Women’s Day, we spoke to three of our female senior managers to find out what it is like being a woman in recruitment, how male-dominated the field really is and what we can do to support women to achieve the most senior roles. Our first interview is with Naima Morys who has been with Invenia Group for nearly 8 years and is the Manager of our DACH team.


What does a typical workday look like for you?

Every day is different, but my morning usually consists of calls with my team, checking emails, looking at my weekly plan, sorting my to do list and reviewing my calendar. My day is a mix of follow up calls, sourcing for new roles, preparing candidates for interviews, salary negotiations and working with clients on new roles.


In your experience, have you found recruitment to be a male-dominated field? If so, how do we attract more women to the recruitment industry?

Yes, I have found it to be male dominated, and I believe this is because less women are attracted to the field. I believe men are more likely to be drawn to the financial opportunity of a career in recruitment and the industry has a reputation for long hours and less work life balance compared to other careers. Moving forwards, I don’t think it will be as hard to attract women as the industry has seen a big change in homeworking and flexibility. You can have a balanced life without ridiculous working hours and still be able to earn a decent salary. Some companies do want you to work long hours, but it is about finding a company that suits you and your career and being smart with your own time.

“Some companies do want you to work long hours, but it is about finding a company that suits you and your career and being smart with your own time.”

How has the industry changed in the last few years?

The biggest changes happened through the pandemic. We have gained a lot more flexibility in terms of working from home, being able to spend a lot more time with our loved ones and save time on commuting. People are less conservative now, and if a pet walks through the screen while on a video call everybody smiles and understands.


What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women in recruitment?

Having a successful career and a family, but the increased flexibility now will hopefully help women to balance this. As more women rise into board level positions, I would hope awareness of managing a family and career will increase.


Almost a third (30%) of recruitment firms have less than 5% female leaders at board level. Why do you feel women struggle to reach the most senior levels in recruitment?

I find in general lots of people have issues understanding what they want from their career and life. They just take it day by day but often don’t have a long-term plan in place. Many women don’t have examples of female leaders in their business, and don’t believe achieving this level is realistic for them. At Invenia, we are fortunate that we have a strong top billing league dominated by women. We also have women in leadership positions who are successful, think big and are ambitious.


What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?

I generally don’t see a difference between men and women for most of it. People who work hard, are self-motivated, take initiative and understand why they want to be successful are more likely to be successful. Often, I see that people are not as accountable to themselves. That said, when I was at the beginning of my career I was seen as weak and too nice. I always thought that men were treated differently, and I had to work harder to achieve the same things. Often, I jumped through hoops to get to the same level as they were, but after a while I had proven myself and it became easier. I was the measure for other people to get past in order to hit their promotions. That said it helped me to grow. For me, it is important that you understand why you get up every day and how you can make your job as enjoyable as possible. I love recruitment, speaking to candidates and clients and helping them find the perfect role or hire. Passion and love for what you do is one of the key elements to success.

“I love recruitment, speaking to candidates and clients and helping them find the perfect role or hire. Passion and love for what you do is one of the key elements to success.”

What have you found most useful in your career in terms of helping you to advance?

I am someone who has always been highly motivated by myself. I set myself challenging goals but break them down bit by bit and put milestones in place. I also ask for feedback whether it’s good or bad as it helps me grow. Furthermore, I have taken the initiative to complete online courses and mentoring programs that help me get the missing skills to help me to advance.


What do you think companies in the recruitment industry can do to support women more?

That’s a hard one. I guess it is all about having the right conversations, asking women about their goals, drivers, dreams and motivators in life. Not every woman wants to become a CEO or a VP but perhaps they absolutely love being a Resourcer, want a good work life balance and value extra time with their kids and that’s ok. Recruitment companies need to step back from the black and white way of thinking and give flexibility and a place for a woman to flourish, to truly enjoy working and become part of a greater, meaningful goal.


What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in recruitment?

If you expect that this job is easy and that you will earn a high salary without much effort, then it may be the wrong job for you. Recruitment is a challenge, but it is highly rewarding because you learn so much about people, technologies and yourself. You need to map out your personal and professional goals in life when you start. The more you have, the easier it will be to understand why you do recruitment. This job involves commitment and sticking to your daily and weekly tasks by constantly trying to improve and listening to others in the organisation to become the best you can be.