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Celebrating Our Female Leaders On International Women's Day

  • Publish Date: Posted 3 months ago
​To celebrate International Women's Day, we spoke to 3 female leaders from across Xcede Group. We discussed their careers, challenges they have overcome to get to where they are today, and how they are working to #BreakTheBias.

Alex Marshall - Group Corporate Governance Manager

What has your career path looked like?

I moved into recruitment just over ten years ago after previously working in the public sector in charity and education. Moving to the private sector was a big change and felt like starting all over again but I joined a company that were starting up in the UK so it felt like we were all in it together. I’ve moved through contracts administration, to compliance to governance, which when I look back feels like a very natural progression for someone with a brain that enjoys planning and organisation.

What challenges have you faced along the way?

Less so now than a few years ago, but the most common one is mistaken gender, as I have gender-neutral name. Working in governance and legal roles seems to carry a gender-bias towards being male and over the years I’ve had responses refused and people ask to ‘speak to a man to get the right answer’. There’s been a lot of correcting my title on emails or telling people Alex isn’t my boss and reassuring them that they’re talking to the right person and that I’m giving them the right answers. The world moving towards declaring pronouns has made my life a lot easier and shifted a lot of assumptions. Never assume many things but especially never a person’s gender!

What is the best piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Having mentored apprentices previously I know the thing they found most valuable was letting them ask me as many questions as they wanted, as many times as they like, and working with them to find the answers together, so the best advice I can offer is to always stay curious and never be afraid to ask questions.

How will you #BreakTheBias for women’s equality today and beyond?

I think it’s important to speak up when someone is being treated unfairly anywhere, but especially within the workplace. There’s still rhetoric around women who stand up for themselves in the workplace being labelled pushy, bossy, or emotional, so younger colleagues may not feel as comfortable speaking up when something isn’t right. I always try to advocate for anyone who needs support and if that means helping to amplify their voice with mine, then I’m happy to do it.

Chairee Cudaihl - Operations Manager

What has your career path looked like?

I was an Office Manager from another recruitment company, and I worked with them for 8 years. I started as an Executive Assistant in 2013, got promoted to an Operations Lead in 2016, and then my role was more defined to an Office Manager for the two brands. I have grown both professionally and personally with them – I got married in 2017, and built a family. Then along came this wonderful opportunity with Xcede Group to be the Operations Manager for APAC. I have been here for a year now and it has been amazing so far!

What challenges have you faced along the way?

I believe most working moms can relate that to have a career and be ‘present’ at home is the best of both worlds. It’s doable if you get the right support that you need. I am fortunate to have the best work set-up. Our Managing Director has complete trust that I can deliver and meet the business expectations in operational excellence wherever I work. It matters a lot who you work with and what kind of culture the organisation has.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Go out of your comfort zone and keep challenging yourself. Do not be afraid to make a mistake. It’s how you take it as an opportunity to learn so that you don’t make the same mistake twice!

How will you #BreakTheBias for women’s equality today and beyond?

Women are as passionate and as capable as any individual – we can do so much more! Encourage fellow women to do better, help them in their journey and together we will come out stronger!

Madhuri Mohanagopal - Talent Manager

What has your career path looked like?

I started my recruitment career in 2017 with another British recruitment company in Singapore. I was specialised in the Japan market. I started off as a consultant, got promoted to Senior Consultant, and Principal Consultant in the following year and was working to be a team lead when I decided I needed a break from this and left. I got this role with EarthStream as I was looking to get back into recruiting again.

What challenges have you faced along the way?

I think sometimes even we ourselves are oblivious to some obstacles or barriers until you see another person doing the same thing but with less of a struggle. I have had instances where my own teammates would not take me seriously, or when a client would not buy in to me just because I could not be part of a “boys club.” However, I believe I did not let it get to me, because I never thought of it as an obstacle because I was brown or female, and just put my head down and did what I needed to do!

What is the best piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Don’t be afraid of anyone or anything, and most of all don’t be ashamed of who you are. Even if people try to put you in a box, or hold stereotypes against you, best way is to not let that affect how you look at the world. Help everyone and recognise that not everyone are on the same journey.

How will you #BreakTheBias for women’s equality today and beyond?

By learning more and developing awareness. Many things arise from ignorance and if we can all work to share and spread the right information around, spread awareness on the issues women face, then we can look at solving it together. People say women can be scary with each other and are very competitive, but we should stand together instead of against each other.

​Thank you to Alex, Chairee and Madhuri for sharing your stories with us on International Women's Day. Here at Xcede Group, we recognise the importance of uplifting and enabling the careers of women. If you would like to find out more about working at Xcede Group, visit our Join Us page.