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International Women's Day 2021: An interview with Monique Lui

Posted on March 2021 by DSJ Global

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A challenging world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. 

At DSJ Global, we choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, we have an interview with Monique Lui, Recruitment Consultant at DSJ Global, let's find out how she chooses to challenge.

What does the #ChooseToChallenge message mean to you in Supply Chain & Procurement industry?

There are gender biases within the Supply Chain industry, especially in the Manufacturing sector. For some Logistics/Factory Management roles, hiring managers would specifically ask for male candidates because they believe men can get their hands dirty; or they can handle physical tasks within the sites. 

As a consultant, we are here to offer a consultative solution to our candidates and clients. For clients requesting specific gender candidates for review, I'd always understand the reasons and provide suggestions on what I've seen in the market; what their competitors are doing in terms of diversified hiring. I'll try my best to challenge their gender stereotype in a consultative way and qualified candidates in the market regardless of gender.

What sort of conversations around gender equality do you have with your clients and candidates in your role? Has Covid-19 had an impact on gender equality?

My role is to advise both candidates and clients on the best approach to hiring. I would never reject a candidate based on their gender. I'd have open conversations with both parties if they have gender preferences on recruitment within the Supply Chain market. I'll also offer market insights based on my expertise to suggest the best move for them regardless of their gender.

I do not think COVID-19 has a significant impact on Gender Equality. However, I've come across some female candidates who refused to relocate. The reason is they couldn't travel often for work during Covid and would prefer to stay in the home city to take care of the family.

What role can recruiters play in challenging norms and creating change?

As one of the channels to source candidates, I'd share qualified profiles on their background and soft skills, instead of the gender. Along with the CV, I'll justify why the candidate is a good fit for the role based on their experience instead of gender.

We would also take off details on CVs which potentially indicate their gender. As a result, clients are reviewing the candidate purely on the experience instead of the personal attributes. We could avoid clients' first impression of the candidates' gender to ensure gender equality in the recruitment process.

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

I'd suggest to the company to be flexible and open-minded. It is a bias that male is stronger in analytical skills and female is stronger in communication skills. As a recruiter who's speaking to over 150 people every week, I've met a lot of candidates who're incredibly strong in their field but not within the stereotypes. One of the examples is that I've placed a female candidate in Supply Chain Planning analysis with the requirements of data-sensitive, logical and analytical, she is the most suitable and outstanding candidates among the rest. We should always hire for the right experience and attitude, but never who fits into the gender norms.

I've personally come across a client asking for a female candidate for an IT Supply Chain role given the teammates are all male. Balancing the male to female ratio in the Supply Chain function is their major goal for 2021. It was a challenging search but I'm glad to be part of the advocacy of gender equality for the client.

As a female leader, what advice would you give to other aspiring leaders in overcoming potential gender biases and achieving career success?

Echoing with this year's theme of IWD, female leaders should always choose to challenge. As a strong believer in gender equality, we should not tolerate any gender biases in the workplace.

If there's a task within your responsibility and capability, take it! We should never shy away from an opportunity because of our gender. If a man can complete the task, you 100% can do it too. Believe in yourself and never let anyone tell you that you can never succeed because you are a female. 

About Monique Lui

Monique Lui is a Recruitment Consultant based in Hong Kong covering Procurement and Quality within APAC.

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