Recruitment is widely renowned for being a male-dominated industry, but here at Barrington James we’ve always liked to do things a bit differently. In fact, 28% of our top billers in 2018 were female, so to celebrate International Women’s Day today, we shine the spotlight on some of the women in our business who aren’t just breaking that stereotype they are smashing the glass ceiling!

Pippa Wilson joined BJ in 2007 as a Consultant in our Head Office. Five years ago she moved ‘across the pond’ to set up our office in Raleigh, North Carolina and is also currently the sole female on our Board of Directors, here, Pip talks about her #LifeAtBJ;

“Without a doubt it was the money that attracted me to working in recruitment and now I love the thrill and buzz of the industry. It’s a 24/7 job, a real lifestyle but the laughter and banter that we have in all of the offices, and between offices, makes it so much fun. How many companies would have a night out after a Board Meeting which resulted in your COO having their first drink in years whilst sat next to your FD who had lost a bet and was out for the night in a dress and full face of makeup! Recruitment is tough, but I don’t take no for an answer, I love to win and I know how to get the best out of a situation which is why I have succeeded. I would love to see more women join us at Barrington James and me on the Board, you need to have a thick skin and grit your teeth sometimes but honestly, enjoy the ride because recruitment is the best job ever and working with men isn’t all bad either!

At completely the other end of her career, Shannon Taylor, joined our Academy at the end of 2018 having worked in sales before, she had seen lots about BJ online and wanted to join us;

“I’m a really money hungry person and having seen about the success people were having at BJ and the money they were taking home, I knew I wanted to be a part of it and since joining I just absolutely love the exciting, hungry and energetic environment I am in every day. It’s tough when a deal doesn’t come in and you have to pick yourself up and put a smile on it but I have a very resilient and positive personality and that’s a huge part of being successful here. My highlights so far are securing six interviews in a week and having a scooter race round the office with another Consultant and one of our Associate Directors! Being a female in the business makes me want to prove that I can be just as, if not more successful, than my male counter parts and in the next 12 months I hope to have earned loads of money, be a High Roller and inspire other women to join us”

When you speak to Gemma Allen, it is hard to remember that she is just 22 years old and has been in recruitment for less 3 years. Starting as a Resourcer and learning her market inside out, it wasn’t long before Gemma’s ruthlessness and desire to succeed turned her into our 2018 Performer of the Year.

“Last year was incredible for me, I won Performer of the Year, billed £400,000 and took home six figures and I don’t feel like I have even started to scratch the surface of what I can achieve. This year I plan to bill half a million pounds and cement my place as the most successful recruiter within my market at Barrington James. It takes a lot to be successful, gaining people’s trust and being different to all of the other recruiters out there, but I know my market better than anyone else and I am myself when I speak to people. I don’t think that any phone call I make can go wrong – it’s just a conversation with another human being! Don’t get me wrong, working in recruitment can be tough, I don’t think it’s any harder for women but we should be feared – a successful woman is a powerful woman, so watch out!”

Ann Marie Sharmila is based in our Singapore office and having previously worked in recruitment, she was attracted to the niche recruitment that BJ offered and joined us in November 2014.

“I just absolutely love everything about recruitment. I started as a Consultant and worked my way up to Sales Manager and I have my eyes set on my next promotion this year. I have earned more money than I could ever have imagined as well as winning an incentive which saw me take my family to Orlando for a holiday of a lifetime. This job has given me the opportunity to show my two daughters that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it and work hard. I honestly don’t see being a female in this industry as a drawback, we are just as successful and play just as hard – just ask anyone who was on my first Directors Lunch with me!”

Fresh out of university, with no experience and promoted to a Senior Consultant in under 2 years, Rachel Wile joined our Raleigh office in 2017. Now, not only is she showing her male counterparts what can be achieved, she can also be found speaking at industry events about recruitment and her experience.

“My mum actually started her career out in recruitment and introduced me to the idea of becoming a recruiter. I knew I wanted to work with people and I was drawn to the fast-paced environment and the amount of money I could earn. Having interviewed with a number of agencies, Barrington James stood out as the company that I wanted to work for. I never know what my day will bring, and every day can be so different but that’s part of what I love about what I do. Recruitment is known for having amazing highs and lows which effects anyone, male or female, but its having the tenacity to push on through the rejections and keep an eye on the next success. At 9am I may get a rejection but by 11am the same day I am celebrating good news from another process. One of my highlights was winning Sales Person of the Month for the first time and this year I am focusing on progressing to Sales Manager, plus I have my eye on the top of the Sales Person of the Year board too. My advice to women thinking about getting into recruitment? Do it! There is nothing standing in your way apart from you!”


Last, but without doubt the only time this lady comes last, is Debbie Stanley who joined our Head Office in 2014. Joining us a shy individual, Debbie knew she needed to be outgoing to succeed in recruitment which is exactly why she wanted to do it, to push herself out of her comfort zone and she’s been doing that with huge success ever since!

“Starting as a consultant, I quickly progressed up the ranks becoming a Sales Manager shortly before my second anniversary. I love speaking to different people every day and learning so much from them. Recruitment can be tough and I made quite a few sacrifices at the beginning of my career, that’s nothing to do with being female, it is because I wanted to be the best. If I was criticized, I used it to become better. I’ve had so many incredible highlights at Barrington James but being on every High Rollers since I started is definitely up there, as well as getting to fly Business Class to Vegas and the Bahamas – how many jobs offer you that? This year I am looking forward to leading the top billing team, becoming an Associate Director and joining the Board.”


So there you have it. Recruitment may be male dominated but these inspiring individuals prove that women can, and do, make some of the best recruiters, so what are you waiting for? Girls, come and join the team at Barrington James.

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