As we near the end of Women’s History Month, we not only strive to admire all women who have fought for equality with determination and strength, but those in the younger generations prepared to do the same.
When Brooke Stemen first began her experience in recruiting, she didn’t feel represented in leadership. Now the Director of Talent Acquisition at Green Key, she recalls, “When I first started in staffing, there wasn’t single woman on my leadership team. It was discouraging to not be represented. I knew what I wanted in my future, which was the ability to have a rewarding career while also balancing a marriage and kids at home.”
Stemen further elaborates, “I think, as women, we are at times expected to shortchange ourselves for the convenience of others. I knew from a young age, being raised by a single mother, that to reach my personal and professional goals, I couldn’t do that. I knew that to see the growth I wanted in my future, I needed to see myself represented by my organization.”
When Brooke started working at her next firm, she immediately noticed that the Director of Recruiting was not only a woman, but had years of experience making a name for herself in a male-dominated industry. Brooke asked her to be her mentor and meet with her 1-on-1 on a quarterly basis. In this partnership, she learned how to better communicate with a team, conduct herself in front of clients and candidates, and build the confidence to take action.
“It was amazing. In hindsight, I really credit my career growth to her. I am also very proud of myself for not settling for the status quo and being motivated to push myself past it,” she explains. “I was truly able to look up to someone and advocate for myself.”
“If you’re feeling underdeveloped or stagnant in their role, don’t wait for your boss to tap you on the shoulder to get developed. It’s important to take your career into your own hands,” Stemen explains. “Don’t expect someone else to care more about your career than you do yourself.”
Brooke joined the Green Key team in 2021 and was immediately drawn to the number of women in leadership positions. “Women at Green Key are taken seriously. Many of them are top producers and subject-matter experts. The female experience isn’t lost here. Everyone is seen as equals. We’re focused on performance; there’s no room to be political.”
There are currently 13 million women-owned businesses around the world. As of 2022, 42% of American businesses were female-run. Though women face more challenges in leadership roles, and often feel the effects of gender bias, studies show that their influence results in a more diverse workplace, fresh ideas and policies, and steps to close the wage gap.
Deloris Jones, Partner at Green Key leading the Pharmaceutical National team, says, “Women bring a unique perspective to the table in the way we approach problem-solving and decision-making. Having women in leadership positions provides visibility and serves as a role model for young women, showing them that they can achieve success and leadership roles in their career.”
If you’re a woman interested in advancing your career or working for an inclusive organization, connect with Brooke on LinkedIn and begin that conversation. Your next mentorship or leadership opportunity could be around the corner!