“I feel that I have been incredibly fortunate not to have personally suffered from discrimination. I recognise that this is a privilege, and that many people – including women, people of colour, disabled people and non-binary people– are not as lucky. Which is why I work to ensure that Gregg Latchams is truly a space for equal opportunities.” – Jennifer Bennett, Head of HR at Gregg Latchams, interviewed for International Women’s Day
What was your journey to Gregg Latchams?
I happened to finish a consulting assignment and realised that I needed a change. I had never worked in the professional service industry and I recognised that my skills were transferable, and I was really ready for a new challenge.
What made you choose your career path?
Fortunately, I was exposed to many different operational positions and working in HR felt the most like something I wanted to spend my life doing. It’s very exciting to play a part in leading an organisation towards a more progressive direction, and I’m proud to be shaping an organisation through recruitment.
How do you approach recruitment?
With a view to attracting the best talent – it’s fairly simple. The key is recognising just who the best talent is for a role and for a team as a whole. Building a diverse team is important: having diverse points of view, people from different backgrounds and upbringings has obvious benefits, and contributes to having a successful business. It’s very easy and very natural to recruit people that resemble you in some way, and everyone has natural biases, but this can mean certain people not being afforded the opportunities they deserve. I feel the second you are closing the door on anyone – unconsciously or not – you are not truly committing to finding the best people.
How do you overcome any biases you may have?
The only way is to be aware of your own biases and to challenge them. I think it’s a process – you must be open to learning and accepting that there is always more to learn. This is again why surrounding yourself with a diversity of perspectives is important. There is so much to learn from other people and their experiences; to understand how your experiences differ from theirs, and why. Exposing yourself to different points of view helps to challenge your own assumptions, and to grow both personally and professionally.
What advice can you give to those trying to build a more diverse workforce?
Be brave and be bold, and trust in the long-term success of diversity and inclusivity. You can see all around, that diversity makes the world a better place.