This year’s Women’s History Month theme was "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories." This theme not only recognizes women who have devoted their lives and talents to producing art and news, but also the women who have been active storytellers within their communities, lifting up, and highlighting the stories of other women.
We wanted to round out Women’s History Month 2023 by taking a moment to tell the stories of some of our colleagues. The hope, as always, is to empower other women to share their stories too and to show the impact that these individuals have had on our industry. With that in mind, we asked our colleagues what they have learned as a woman working in this industry and what part of their stories they wanted to share with others.
First, we heard what a supportive space the Employer Brand/Recruiting industry is for women. Director of Talent Acquisition Marketing and Advertising at CVS Health, Nicole Fritz, states, “The employer brand/recruitment marketing community, while continuing to grow every day, remains such a close-knit group of individuals who are really passionate about supporting each other. It is comprised of so many talented professionals who genuinely care about the people and the work we do. I have seen colleagues from different industries, small companies, large companies, competitor companies, whatever - lean in and come together wherever they can to provide support, guidance, best practices, and mentoring. It makes you realize that whatever challenge you may be facing in your role at any time, there is likely someone who has either been in your shoes, or who can share a fresh perspective or advice with you. Many of the people I have worked with in this space have become great friends and advocates, and they are people who want to genuinely help ‘fill your cup.’ It’s a unique place to be, and I am just so proud to be a part of it.”
“It’s a great career for being a working mom. Most of it can be done remotely and there’s a lot of creativity and opportunities to connect with interesting people,” states Lindsey Ault-Authier, Director of Global Talent Attraction & Employer Brand at PVH Corp.
Once in the space and working, Christina Gasperino, VP of Human Resources at Florida’s Natural Growers, has learned to let her work speak for itself. “I have learned to let your work speak for itself and set a great example for future female leaders in your organization, whether it be career development or focusing on work-life balance.”
We asked this group of high-powered leaders what part of their story they wanted to tell others. Overwhelmingly, the biggest takeaway was to never stop learning. Gasperino’s grandfather taught her this lesson. “My grandfather always said to me that ‘people can take away all of your prized possessions, but they can never take away what is in your mind’… So never stop learning!”
Kristen Jacobs, Talent Marketing Manager at Ancestry.com, shared, “I’ve been in marketing my whole career and have experience in many different industries, with all business models and sizes. When I look back at my career, I realize that each job added new skills or a valuable lesson that eventually led me to the next step in my career path. When it was time for change, I reflected on what I was most passionate about or where I wanted to develop my skills and sought roles that would help me upskill in those areas. I’ve taken risks and had regrets, but I always take time to reflect on how those experiences helped me grow as an individual and a professional, and then move on.”
Ault-Authier expanded upon learning to include networking and learning from others. “If you want to change your career or take it to the next level, take on a stretch project, conduct informational interviews, and network. Be open to both virtual and in-person networking. A great starting point is to reach out to people and learn how they reached success. These relationships or projects have helped me progress in my career, from comparing industry notes, learning about new career paths, to landing new jobs on several occasions.”
Passion for sharing employees’ stories authentically drives these women to do what they do every day. Jacobs wants to make sure employees are a good fit for her organization. “I’m passionate about sharing employee stories because it provides candidates a glimpse into the employee experience and shows them what they can expect from our company culture. People are diverse and so are their experiences, so the more stories we share, the more perspectives we’re providing. I’m also telling the story of Ancestry - who we are as an employer, how we work and what we’re passionate about – building an authentic employer brand to aid us in attracting candidates who are more likely to be aligned with our culture and values, providing a stronger mutual fit.”
Ault-Authier agreed with Jacobs. “My passion for telling the stories of the people behind a company is what led to my career in Employer Branding…Telling the stories of company culture and sharing the lives of employees behind-the-scenes at work and home to help candidates see if they are fit for company culture.”
Fritz emphasized the importance of humanizing the company and authenticating the work. “Storytelling is such an important part of working in employer brand. The method by which you communicate those stories can vary greatly company to company based on access to different types of media and tools, budgets, and other resources, but being able to sit down with employees and learn about what drew them to their industry, or what their career path has looked like, or how a company or perhaps a specific leader inspired or supported them along the way is such an inspiring part of the work we do. It humanizes the company and authenticates the work we do, and that is extremely rewarding.
As we close out Women’s History Month 2023, we appreciate our partners in work and in Telling Our Stories. We are honored that they were willing to share their stories and perspectives with us. We hope this inspires and empowers you to tell your own story. We leave you with Christina Gasperino’s thoughts on balancing it all as a woman. “You can have it all and have work-life balance — having a meeting with the Board of Directors in the morning and then come home at a decent time and cook dinner with your spouse. You just have to make a conscious effort to make the balance work!”