Following on from our International Women’s Day celebration on the 8th of March, we caught up with each of our panellists to further discuss the topics from the event.
Jenny Tremewan, Head of HR at United Response.
What is the importance of women supporting other women?
“Women supporting and promoting other women is essential for building a more equitable society. When women support each other, we break down the barriers of competition and comparison that have historically held us back. Being a positive leader means recognising the strengths and accomplishments of others and using our platform to amplify their voices. When we advocate for each other, we create a more inclusive and diverse community, where everyone’s talents and perspectives are valued. And, when we uplift and encourage each other, we create a positive ripple effect that inspires more women to strive for success and pursue their dreams.”
Do you think women feel nervous about asking for help?
“Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It takes courage to admit that we don’t have all the answers and to seek support from others. By normalising and promoting a culture of support and collaboration, we can create an environment where everyone feels empowered to seek help when needed. As leaders, it is crucial to acknowledge and celebrate the strengths and achievements of our colleagues. When we advocate for one another, we foster a more inclusive and diverse community that values everyone’s unique talents and perspectives. Ultimately, promoting a culture of support and mutual assistance can enable everyone to thrive and achieve their full potential.”
How important is it to inform young people about different job opportunities and routes to get there?
“It is crucial that we provide young people with exposure to job opportunities and inform them about all available pathways to achieve their desired career. Personally, I was highly motivated and academically inclined and initially pursued a career as a lawyer through the traditional educational route of school, college and university. However, I eventually discovered my true passion lay in working with individuals and took pleasure in coaching them throughout their careers, I was unaware that such a profession existed when I was in school.”
What advice would you give to the next generation in preparing for their career?
“Having a plan is great, but it’s equally acceptable if you don’t have one. It’s not essential to follow a specific path to reach your desired career, and you shouldn’t place excessive emphasis on doing so. The ability to adapt and pursue your true passion is a valuable skill, and when you have found the right fit, you will undoubtedly feel it. I had a detailed grand plan, but I also made mistakes and deviated from the intended path. It is important to find a way that suits you best, and once you have identified it, acknowledge the feeling and strive to pursue it.”
Jen Carulei, Practice Manager at The Endeavour Partnership.
How can workplace culture encourage individuals, regardless of gender, to speak up about their challenges and seek help from others?
“It can be difficult to speak up about personal challenges especially if you feel like you are the only one going through it. This is particularly true for females who may worry about being perceived as overly emotional. However, it’s important to realise that other individuals, regardless of gender, are likely facing their own struggles. By fostering a workplace culture that encourages open conversation, individuals can come to the realisation that they are not alone. Moreover, asking for help is not a negative thing; in fact, it is a progressive step towards personal and professional growth.”
How can individuals be more aware of unintentional actions that may perpetuate gender stereotypes and create a workplace culture that is more inclusive?
“Throughout my career, I’ve often found myself as the only woman in a room, despite holding the same professional level as my male colleagues. In these situations, it wasn’t uncommon for me to be asked to make coffee or take meeting minutes. Whilst I didn’t want to be seen as not being a team player, it can be challenging to address these assumptions without causing a fuss. If we can feel comfortable highlighting these situations and encourage everyone to consider their actions, we can create a much more inclusive workplace for everyone.”
How can workplace flexibility positively impact productivity and empowerment among team members?
“The workplace has evolved to better consider employees’ personal commitments. There is a growing understanding that flexibility can lead to improved productivity, and team members are now completing work around their own schedules. In the past, parents may have felt the need to make excuses, but now there is a more open dialogue around accommodating personal commitments. By giving people trust, support, and flexibility, team members feel empowered to deliver, leading to positive outcomes for the business.”
We heard most of the panellists mention imposter syndrome, how can women overcome it and celebrate their accomplishments in the workplace?
“Despite achieving top grades in my degree and MBA, I found myself attributing my success to luck or marking errors, despite knowing how hard I had worked. I’ve noticed that this tendency to downplay accomplishments is common among women, and I encourage us all to celebrate our hard work instead. When preparing for the International Women’s Day panel, I asked other women about their experiences and found a recurring theme of self-doubt. Even my own mother, who I’ve always viewed as a strong and professional leader, admitted to experiencing imposter syndrome. What surprised me even more was that the men I asked didn’t seem to struggle with this as much. Confidence is something that can be difficult to build and maintain, and it’s fragile. A culture that allows for discussion means we can tackle challenges and find solutions, it’s something we’re really proud of here at The Endeavour Partnership.”
Kimberley Turner, Finance and Commercial Director at Double Eleven.
Do women face unique challenges in the gaming industry?
“If I’m completely honest, I feel most individuals experience challenges in most industries nowadays, and whilst video games, as you allude to in your question, is, or has been quite male-dominated, I feel my challenges over the last 13 years don’t relate to my gender. I can only speak from my own experiences, but I genuinely don’t see myself as any different to anyone else. However, that didn’t leave me without a challenge. For example, when attending trade shows and commercial meetings across the globe, especially when we started out, I was more worried people wouldn’t take me seriously for my age. Most of the people I engaged with were older and more experienced than me in their field or as CEO’s of very large global companies. I overcame those particular challenges by staying true to who I was, what my own strengths and capabilities were and tried to block out any form of self-doubt. I was only 27 and most of the people I engaged with at the time were around 40-50 years old, so I was quite the junior in that sense.
“It’s crucial to have equal representation for all individuals, and for young people to see role models in positions they aspire to. It’s important for all genders to be encouraged to pursue careers based on their interests and passions, rather than being limited by their gender, age or anything else for that matter.”
What are the key elements of your company’s approach to fostering diversity and inclusivity in the workplace?
“Our workforce is incredibly diverse, and we prioritise hiring the best candidate for each position.
We believe our purpose begins with how we build our teams and work together. We are committed to creating a culture of belonging, where people can bring their whole self to work and be respected and valued for who they are. We believe in providing equal opportunity for everyone to develop and progress. This is not something we take lightly. It’s something that involves us all and requires constant vigilance and continuous listening and learning.
Finally, what did the school aged you want to be when you grew up?
“At a young age I would have said an air hostess or a PE teacher, but by the time I was 16 I found myself navigating very firmly towards working in business and finance. More exposure to different careers could probably have helped me make more informed choices but, of course, it’s worked out amazingly well, I have the perfect job and wouldn’t change a thing about my career journey!”