IWD interview with Ruth Espina

Author Brad Law
March 24, 2018

Frazer Jones is proud to be supporting International Women’s Day 2018. We have interviewed a series of our female clients asking them how they are pressing forward for women’s gender parity #pressforprogress

Frazer Jones interviewed Ruth Espina, Director, Human Resources Recruitment, Maximum Management/Frazer Jones.

Past Progress

If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be and why?
Focus on a career and role that compliments who you are, your value system and what you enjoy doing most. When there is alignment between whom you are and your work you’ll find yourself doing work you are passionate about. When you have a passion for your work you are setting yourself up for success!

I think in the early stages of my career I tried to mold myself into a vision of what the corporate world wanted me to be. When I learned to relax I was able to use my approach and personality as a competitive advantage. Without managers and a company culture that supported that expression, diversity of thought and more than one way of working this wouldn’t have been possible. It’s a lot easier today than it was 20 years ago to be an ambitious woman in the workplace with an opinion that is heard and respected.

Personally, I would tell my younger self to go into executive search sooner because I love it so much but then again, I’m probably a better headhunter because I had the hands-on HR experience I did before moving into search.

Present Progress

If you were to be a mentor to someone within your profession, what one piece of advice would you give?
Actively listen – as in listen to understand not to respond. This can take up more time but when you engage your audience this way they know that you hear them and you position yourself to interpret their needs into meaningful results – it’s a powerful combination. Additionally, when you are known for reading situations accurately and having good data you increase your credibility which is a very powerful position to be in.

How is gender parity being achieved in your profession and what do you think needs to be done to press for progress?
I think the field of Human Resources tends to be very progressive with regards to gender balance; the question is more how the profession can help drive progress in the broader businesses in which they operate. The HR discipline is highly appealing to both genders and committed to equality by its very nature.

The inclusion of programs that offer flexible work schedules is extremely helpful to working families of either gender; and let’s face it; in almost all households both parents are working. The new compensation legislation in several states is expected to drive better pay parity over the longer term but I think can only be a small part of a bigger effort to drive change.

As I see so many of the challenges my clients organizations face I think our educational system needs to develop to better meet the talent demands of the future and position certain demographics for success. For example, commitment in STEM programs targeting females combined with corporate recruiters making continued efforts to attract underrepresented talent into these types of roles will change the landscape going forward.

Future Progress

What kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind?
I want to be known for making an impact on the lives of those I interact with. This, at its core, is the most gratifying part of working in search. Ensuring the candidates and clients I work with have an amazing experience and I make that great match! Even after placing over 650 HR professionals in my almost 20 year HR search career I am still so fulfilled when a client is thrilled by a great hire I’ve secured for them and a candidate can’t wait to start.