Samantha Lubanzu Career Development strategist was thrilled to meet virtually and interview Elizabeth Willetts founder and CEO of “Investing in Women” a job board designed with career women in mind. Read the interview here:
Tell me a little about yourself?
Hi, my name is Elizabeth Willetts (Liz for short). I am an experienced Recruiter with over 14 years of experience – both in-house at one of the Big 4 and UK’s largest recruitment agencies. I am also a mum to two daughters – Emily and Annabelle (and a Labradoodle called Dougal). Besides that, I am a passionate believer in the power of part-time and flexible work to close the gender pay gap. I now run a job board called Investing in Women.
Tell me about your company “Investing in Women”?
Investing in Women is a new job board helping you find your dream part-time or flexible job with the UK’s most family-friendly AND forward-thinking employers.
What inspired you to set up your own organisation?
I decided to set up Investing in Women after being made redundant last year. I quickly discovered it wasn’t easy to find ‘good quality’ part-time jobs. To maintain work-life balance, I would have to take a big step down in my career (and a significant cut in salary, thus making childcare unaffordable).
Each time I mentioned part-time with a Recruiter, they quickly told me the role was full-time only, or worse, ghosted me!
After going through several interviews like this, I decided to establish my own job board.
I believe you shouldn’t have to choose between a successful career and spending healthy time with your family. Just because you have kids to look after doesn’t mean you should give up on your career.
What is your favourite part of running your company: Investing in Women?
The autonomy of being able to structure my life as I want, learn and develop lots of new skills parallel to knowing that I am making a massive difference in women’s lives and companies.
What has been your biggest frustrations?
Some organisations have asked me to work for free because they are running something that empowers women. But I believe asking women to work for free in the name of women empowerment is the least empowering thing you can do.
How do you feel your organisation supports the closing of the gender equality gap?
I believe part-time and flexible work is one of the best ways to attract, empower, and retain women (and increasingly men) in the workplace. By encouraging businesses to invest in flexible work that appeals to both genders, you empower women, reduce the gender pay gap and part-time penalty. This will ultimately create the female leaders of the future.
What advice would you give organisations when it comes to “investing in women?
To stop underestimating women and what we are capable of! Design jobs with women (and 21st-century men) in mind and make sure we feel empowered enough to use our voices at the table.
How do you feel about women volunteering to benefit the wider communities they live in? gain valuable experience or just give back to an area that matters to the individual?
Many charities and community groups require volunteers to operate. And volunteering allows you to gain valuable skills and experience whilst giving something back to your community. However, there is a difference between putting up your hand to volunteer for a cause you support and a business asking you to provide your skills and experience for free to benefit them and their bottom line.
What should we expect to see next from “Investing in Women”?
I have so many plans for 2022, including more collaborations with brilliant, inspiring businesses who believe in empowering women. Just watch this space grow.
What is your favourite quote?
Nothing is impossible – the word says I’m Possible!
Anything else you would like to share?
If you are looking for a new flexible or part-time job, I would love to help, so please get in touch.
Where can we find you?
My job board and current live vacancies can be found at – https://investinginwomen.co.uk/
I would love to connect on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-willetts/
My IG handle is @investinginwomencareers
And if you are on Facebook, you are more than welcome to join my empowering Facebook Group – Working Mums UK where I host weekly Lives on various topics with guest speakers – https://www.facebook.com/groups/386475498981570