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International Women's Day 2020: An Interview with Jesse Skaff

Posted on March 2020

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What role can recruitment play in creating a gender-balanced workforce throughout the financial services industry? Jesse Skaff, VP - Preferred Partnership Program at Selby Jennings, shares her thoughts for International Women's Day 2020.

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

Traditionally, financial services is thought of as male dominated, especially in the STEM sectors. The paradigm is shifting, not only from a gender parity perspective, but also culturally. However, as much progress has been made in the last 2 to 5 to 10 years, there is still a long way to go for the financial services industry to become an entirely equal and enabled industry.

What sort of conversations around gender equality do you have with clients and candidates in your sector?

Diversity & Inclusion initiatives are still prominent in many of the clients I work with. We are regularly asked to put a focus on recruiting diverse candidates and first and foremost including providing trackers and statistics behind our efforts.

What role can recruiters play in creating an equal world?

As recruiters we have the responsibility to impact diversity by presenting the strongest candidates to our clients, regardless of gender. We can influence our clients to think strategically, and share insights on best practices to improve gender parity.

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

Be open-minded in the hiring process. Not every candidate is a square peg, square hole, especially if the primary goal is to hire diverse talent. Allow yourself to think outside the box and be flexible. Having diversity on a team allows for diversity in thought which can foster new, innovative ideas. Diversity across businesses, including at the leadership level, improves the bottom line.

Jesse Skaff has been with Selby Jennings for almost 5 years, having spent over 2 years recruiting on the Risk Management recruitment team and more than 2 years on the Preferred Partnership Program team. He oversees relationships with several of our largest financial services clients. For advice on building a diverse hiring strategy, get in touch with the Selby Jennings team.

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Selby Jennings is a leading specialist recruitment agency for banking and financial services. For more than 15 years, we have given clients and candidates peace of mind that the recruitment process is in expert hands. Our continual investment in best-in-class technologies and consultant training enables us to recruit with speed, precision and accuracy. Today, Selby Jennings provides permanent, contract and multi-hire recruitment from our global hubs all over the world.