International Women’s Day – Inspiring Uncommon Members: Debbie

Every woman has an incredible journey to share with the world.

This International Women’s Day, we’re putting the spotlight on our very own members that use our workspaces and their career paths.

Here is Debbie’s story:

What is it that you do and why did you choose this career path? 

I’m a Managing Director of a niche business called Greycoat Lumleys.  Greycoat Lumleys is a global recruitment consultancy specialising in providing a high quality recruitment service to high net worth and high profile clients for their private households, yachts and ski chalets. We also have a corporate part of the business which specialises in Catering & Hospitality providing top Chefs, Butlers, Waiting Staff for high profile companies and events. At Greycoat, we have a ratio of 85% women and 15% men. 

Would you say there are equal opportunities within your line of work? Did you have to face any challenges related to inequality in your career and if so, how did you overcome those? 

Definitely there are equal opportunities in all aspects of our work and over the past 10 years opportunities in private and corporate have become so much more less discriminative, mainly due to our ethos that we will not accept discrimination in the workplace.  We will walk away from clients who we feel are being discriminative and do not have the same ethos regarding equality.  I have not come across inequality in the companies I have worked for – you just need to ensure you do your best every day and strive to be successful and I have been lucky as the people I have worked with and for recognised my work ethic and success.  It has been my choice not to accept a promotion due to my own commitments as a single mother and work life balance. 

What women inspires you the most or is your biggest influence?

Any woman who has been successful in business and also run a family – the ability to juggle both is incredibly difficult – Anita Roddick who headed up the Body Shop but sadly died at 64 selling The Body Shop at £625m in 2005 after starting with 1 shop, comes to mind as someone who also juggled business and motherhood.

What advice would you give to young women looking to start working in your sector?

Recruitment is not a 9 – 5 job – you should always be available for your clients and candidates whatever time of the day.  Be helpful and professional to everyone you speak to as you never know who they know – it is all about networking and making yourself memorable.  Building a personal brand in recruitment is key to being successful.  

As we continue going through the challenging times of change, what are your professional plans and career focus for the rest of 2021? Please mention any new projects you’re currently working on. 

Recovery once the lockdown starts to ease – don’t come out of the pandemic the same business as you were before – make the changes that will see your growth excel and keep the staff in your office spaces who have been loyal and worked hard through a very difficult time.  Diversify the brand by looking at other sectors that can bolt on to Greycoat Lumleys.  Invest in technology and training.

You can follow Greycoat Lumleys on Instagram and LinkedIn.