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International Women's Day 2021: An interview with Elizabeth Pugh

Posted on March 2021 By LVI Associates

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A challenging world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. 

At LVI Associates, we choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, we have an interview with Elizabeth Pugh, Principal Consultant at LVI Associates, let's find out how she chooses to challenge.

What does the #ChooseToChallenge message mean to you in the Engineering & Infrastructure industry?

For me, #ChooseToChallenge means to break the norm. As a male-dominated industry, it strikes me as a positive message to break away from stereotypes and take that choice to become more inclusive and go against what is usually seen within the industry.

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

Recruiting in the engineering industry which is a predominantly male-dominated industry, gender equality is a topic that does come up. I do notice clients becoming more and more aware of having a male-dominated workforce and taking active steps to bring onboard females into their teams. However, there isn't much discussion on HOW they can make this industry more attractive to females. 

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

I do believe that as a recruiter we can challenge norms and create change. We have high-level insight into the market and trends which we can use to educate our clients on the positive changes and developments that other companies are doing when it comes to gender biases that they can replicate. 

For candidates sides, we can bring those highly experienced women in engineering and put their profiles in front of our clients' eyes. Whether it be through blinding CVs so the client is unaware of the gender or ensuring that for every 3 CVs, 1 CV is female. We as recruiters can definitely help to create a change.

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

Small changes help - Like a lot of engineering roles, there is an expectation to be on-site or considered as operating heavy machinery and manual labour involved, people tend to typically think of it is a male job. Many job descriptions and advertisements are almost written to be a job for a male. Small amendments such as making a job description sound more neutral can help to attract more women into their companies. 

Women development paths - If companies notice that they are lacking women in Senior Leadership. Create development plans and provide the resources for females in the company to help them progress into a senior leadership role. 

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

Make sure it is the right environment - When I interviewed with Phaidon International (LVI Associates' parent company), it was by 4 women in leadership roles. This showed me that this is a company that supported having women in management and I could also achieve this. It provided me with women to also look up to and to follow their paths. 

Work hard - Unfortunately, women may have to work harder to be considered for a leadership position or to be taken seriously. If your goal is to become a leader, stay focused on getting there despite outside noise or people telling you you can't. 

Embrace your qualities - Qualities that are considered "weak" or "feminine" e.g. empathy isn't actually a bad thing, it can bring a lot of value and success as a leader :)

About Elizabeth Pugh

Elizabeth Pugh is a Principal Consultant at LVI Associates in Singapore. She is helping to develop and build the Water desk for the Australia market.

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