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International Women's Day 2021: An Interview with Rebecca Topper

Posted on March 2021

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​This year's International Women's Day theme #ChooseToChallenge represents the idea of challenging norms related to gender equality to create change. At Glocomms, we choose to challenge and promote gender diversity and inclusion.

Rebecca Topper, Vice President, Head of Software Recruitment at Glocomms, shares her thoughts on this year's theme, and how she chooses to challenge in her role.

What does the #ChooseToChallenge message mean to you?

#ChooseToChallenge means being transparent, calling out gender bias and inequality when we see it, and moving quickly and decisively to improve and create change. When it comes to culture and social issues in the workplace, it is up to technology leaders to set the standard and lead their teams to influence positive behavior, challenge stereotypes and reinforce their commitment to a healthy and inclusive working environment.

What sort of conversations around gender equality do you have with your clients in your role? Has Covid-19 had an impact on gender equality?

We have always worked with our clients and candidates in the emerging technology industry to keep an open dialogue around creating inclusive workplace environments. The pandemic has broadened the gender inequality gap; however, it doesn't have to continue down this path. We have committed to working with our clients to forge a path of equality and put into action the words of their mission statements about inclusion, which starts with hiring more women and diverse talent.

What role can recruiters play in challenging norms and creating change?

Being in the technology industry, my team and I task ourselves with the challenge of sourcing diverse talent to present to our clients. We also advise our clients on moving the needle in regards to interview practices and procedures that create inclusivity. For example, if a female is interviewing with the team, they will want to speak with other women and diverse talent within the team to understand the culture and practices.

What advice would you give to a company trying to create a diverse hiring strategy?

To create a diverse hiring strategy, a company must first remove unconscious bias from the interview process. Developing a diverse interview panel will set a company up to provide unbias feedback on initial resume screens and will open up the talent pool significantly. When we think about the term "culture fit", the interview process should focus on aptitude and attitude first, over how one might look or act.

As a female leader, what advice would you give to other aspiring leaders in overcoming potential gender biases and achieving career success?

When working as an individual contributor and progressing into a leadership position, I never saw gender as a reason for success. Rather, I focused on possessing a positive attitude and work ethic, and ensuring that everyone around me was encouraged to perform to the best of their abilities. However when it comes to gender bias in the workplace, aspiring leaders can overcome this bias by celebrating women's achievements, raising awareness, and acting as a positive influence when it comes to calling out bias and #ChooseToChallenge.

About Rebecca Topper

Rebecca began her career with Phaidon International, the parent company of Glocomms, six years ago as a college graduate. She has worked within 3 different brands across HR, Supply Chain and Technology recruitment throughout her time with Phaidon. In 2018 she progressed to a managing role within DSJ Global. In 2019, she was approached by Glocomms to come on board to spearhead our Software recruitment efforts. Now as the Head of Software Recruitment on Glocomms, she leads a team in developing hiring strategies that will benefit our clients in the emerging technology space in ultimately becoming more inclusive.

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