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​International Women's Day 2020: An interview with Andrew McNeilis

Posted on March 2020

"Gender equality is about accessing the widest possible talent pool in the employment market." - Andrew McNeilis

​​As the managing director for a recruitment business across APAC and a parent of three boys and one girl, what does gender equality mean in Singapore for Andrew McNeilis? How do we get equal status between male and female in the job market?

This year's International Women's Day's campaign is #EachforEqual. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. In 2020, we can choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.

We have interviewed Andrew McNeilis, Managing Director for APAC region.

The 2020 International Women’s Day theme is that an equal world is an enabled world. What does that mean to you in Singapore?

As a parent of three boys and one girl, the idea that my daughter could be disadvantaged in the workplace because she is a woman is ridiculous. To me, “the equal world is an enabled world “ means that equality of opportunity will enhance our society by creating greater opportunity for all.

Is gender equality a topic that often comes up in conversations with candidates and companies?

Yes, it does. However, this is not into the context of box-ticking a diversity policy or meeting abstract gender balance targets in the workplace. Instead, the conversation is about accessing the widest possible talent pool in the employment market.

What role can recruiters play in creating an equal world?

Recruiters can share successful practice about what forward-thinking firms are doing as a result of making gender equality a success. We drive talent to clients on merit, and so, by promote flexible working arrangements and the sheer quality of the talent within both the male and female talent pool.

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

Companies should sponsor it from the top, that is to say, from the C suite. Read our report Gender Diversity: The Commercial Imperative, it explained the reasons why. As long as diversity is seen as an “HR” topic, it will be seen as optional. As a result for people to see the benefit, companies should demonstrate to the business that better gender balance makes the firm more successful. Likewise by having the CEO sponsor that sincere belief through messaging and behaviours, people will take it seriously.

Speak to Andrew for more #EachForEqual hiring tips.

Collectively, each of us can help create a gender-equal world.

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