Back to BlogWomen in Recruitment: International Women’s Day 2020

To mark International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating our women in recruitment!  We sat down with three women who hold senior positions in FPS including an Associate Director, a Divisional Manager and a Managing Consultant.

Meet the women

Rebecca Anderson is an Associate Director here at FPS and focuses her efforts on our Aviation division predominantly, leading them from strength to strength, year in year out.

Kelly Biggart is the Aviation Team’s Divisional Manager.  She has worked hard over the years to secure partnerships with major players in the industry – winning recruitment awards as she goes.

Holly Humphreys takes on the Managing Consultant role within the Aviation Team, ensuring the team continue to build and maintain key relationships in this ever-changing industry.

We asked them…

Q: What attracted you to the industry in the first place?

R: I had just moved back from Guildford and got myself a temporary job as a receptionist here at FPS.  I didn’t fully appreciate the recruitment process but when I was given the opportunity to support John Scott shortly after he joined the business I quickly began to understand the fast paced environment of contracting.  Talking to engineers and learning about the aviation industry as a whole was very exciting. I was soon offered a position in the recruitment side of the business and quickly progressed within the company.

K: When I left school I had planned to take a gap year before going to university to study marketing. However, when I was offered an aviation recruitment role with a local recruitment agency, I thought it sounded like a good opportunity.  I enjoyed it so much I ended up staying for 3 years!  Rebecca then called me,  and wanted to talk to me about an opportunity at FPS.  I thought this was the correct move for me, it proved to be a great choice and i was able expand my knowledge and progress my career – with a recruitment agency that was our biggest competitor.  That was 13 years ago and I haven’t looked back since!

H: After finishing school I decided to do a working holiday before I made any big career decisions. When I came back my friend got me an interview with FPS to work within the payroll department.  Whilst there, I saw the potential for a career in recruitment and got a place in the construction team.  I then moved to the aviation team which was ironic as I didn’t even know that aviation meant planes…

Q: Do you think there’s a gender imbalance in the industry?  Have you seen a shift over the years?

R: I don’t think so.  But I do feel that women have to do more to earn respect and authority in the industry.  Something which I feel is given to men quickly.  There are more women with long-standing, established careers within the aviation recruitment industry.  While we have our competitors, I do have a lot of respect for the women that have been in the industry for longer than myself, I happily doth them my cap.  More and more women are now in post holder positions and it’s refreshing to see a change to male dominated boards.

K: Not with the number of women in the industry.  But I do feel like our experience & expertise is not met with the same confidence as our male counterparts.  There is a lot of successful women at management level and higher and this is more and more the norm, certainly for my generation!

H: Personally, no I’ve never noticed.  There is actually a lot of successful women in recruitment.  I think this is down to their determination to succeed and progress from lower-entry positions to higher levels.  Many women have started in an admin role and have naturally progressed into recruitment, this also gives them a deeper understanding of the business from a grass roots level.

Q: In the early stages of your career, did you have a female role model?  Did she help you see a future in your role?

R: I was the first woman in my team but was inspired by my peers in the office who were succeeding in their careers.  I knew I could bring that to my own team.

K: Rebecca was my role model from the day she offered me the job.  I was young and shy when I started and was a little intimidated as I had come from a small, local agency in my home town.  Rebecca was sociable and confident dealing with clients and contracts.  She gave me a confidence boost, I was able to grow and express my own personality and put my own stamp on things.

H: I did not have another job prior to FPS so I was inexperienced in the whole office environment.  But working alongside Kelly and Rebecca helped me develop myself professionally and see where I could go in my career.  They gave me advice and guidance on how to get there too.

Q: Have you felt that family commitments with negatively impacted your career?  Why/why not?

R: Naturally, yes. I had to work at changing my schedule and working life to suit my new family commitments.  I used to work all hours and weekends and when I could no longer do this, I struggled at first.  But it did give me a different type of drive and determination to make it work.  It also forced me to up-skill my time management capabilities (which can still be pretty awful at times)!

K: Slightly in terms of the pace of progression.  I wasn’t able to be as flexible as I once was, so it naturally took me longer to get to where I wanted to be.   Being a mum and working I feel guilty, but I also feel guilty when I leave work early to pick my kids up.  But the office is supportive and I’m able to work flexibly.  It now just requires a bit more forward planning.  For example, work trips away can’t be last minute etc.

Q: Do you feel that there is enough being Done to help women progress their careers i.e. flexible working etc.?

R: I do have flexible working as I work 4 days and there was no issues reducing my working hours.  Most companies are the same and I feel that while it is still a juggle, FPS are supportive.  If I need to look after a chicken poxed child, I am able to work from home.

K: Like Rebecca, I work 4 days a week and echo her sentiment.  Flexible working is more and more becoming the norm and I think it’s great that FPS acknowledge the difficulty of getting the balance right and are supportive of their employees request for it.

Our Commitment

FPS are dedicated to providing the right support for our employees to develop themselves and their careers.  We strive to provide a working environment free from discrimination, prejudice and all forms of harassment and bullying.  It is our policy to treat everyone as equals, irrespective of ethnicity, nationality, disability, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age or any other aspect.  We have a number of women in a range of senior positions at FPS and are proud of our dedication to developing each and every one of our staff.  We celebrate our women in recruitment not just on International Women’s Day – but every day!

Our Aviation Team

Our Aviation Team is a highly specialised and successful team focusing on the temporary and permanent recruitment of aviation staff.  This includes mechanics, engineers, ground staff, quality control and more.  Check out vacancies on our website or give the team a call on +44(0)141 270 5007


And just to prove that women can do it all…

working mums

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