International Women’s Day: Q&A with Alex Kerbel, National Account Executive

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International Women’s Day: Q&A with Alex Kerbel, National Account Executive
Bryony Kelly

International Women’s Day: Q&A with Alex Kerbel, National Account Executive

International Women’s Day: Q&A with Alex Kerbel, National Account Executive

Alex has worked with Lorien since 2016, rising through the ranks to National Account Executive. We spoke to Alex about her experiences, working at Lorien, and what we need to do to create more successful women in business.

How did your recruitment journey start?

I started recruiting right after graduating from the University of Miami. My cousin worked for, now Lorien, and told me that his office was looking to create a team and asked if I knew anyone who would be good for the position. I was planning on going to grad school, but the opportunity seemed great, so I decided to apply for the role, and I’m very grateful I did.

What do you enjoy most about working at Lorien? How has Lorien supported you in your career? 

I really love the relationships that I have made at Lorien. The leadership team has always been extremely helpful and encouraging. I became an Account Manager because my then manager saw potential for me and encouraged me to make the move. As a woman in what at the time was a predominantly male environment, I didn’t feel certain about going after the job, so it was extremely helpful to hear that my male boss as well as his manager felt as though it was the right move for me. 

How have things changed for women throughout your career? Where have we progressed, and where is there still room for improvement?

Things have definitely changed. When I first started at Lorien there was only one woman in sales and one woman in recruiting.  Throughout the years, there has been a stronger stance on improving our diversity and that action has brought about very positive results. Currently, half of my recruiting team are women. There is room for improvement, and I would love to see more women on every team as well as more women in leadership roles. In 2019, Claire Marsh became our CEO in North America. I think seeing diversity at the top is important to help grow an inclusive company.

What can we do as individuals to improve gender diversity and representation in business?

I think the biggest way to drive change is speaking about it. As a woman there have been many times where I didn’t speak up about issues and it seemed easier to sweep things under the rug. No one will know that change needs to occur if they don’t hear that anything is wrong. The more we speak up the more we can make a difference. It is also extremely important to have male advocates and allies. If we truly want to create a balanced playing field, we need men on our side. I also believe that diversity is something that benefits all of us, so it’s something we should all fight for.

What wider steps do you think we need to take to create real change for women in business?

Creating large scale change takes time and social change. Our daily lives are riddled with microaggressions that are embedded in our vocabulary. Common phrases like “be a man”, “man up”, or “you ____ (run, scream, fight) like a girl”  all seem harmless and are just words, but they act as unconscious reinforcers to the idea that there is a superior gender. I believe the first act of transformative change is education. The better an understanding, the more awareness. I think a large portion of society thinks that they are not contributors to the gender gap however when you pick apart something as simple as the way we speak and the phrases we use, it’s easy to detect that there are glass ceilings embedded in how we speak, act, and engage. 

What are your tips for success in recruitment?

I believe that the more time you put into recruiting, the better you become. Recruiting is a human-centric trade so predicting how a situation is going to pan out from start to finish is difficult. I could sit in a classroom and try to learn about the fundamentals of recruiting, but the best tips and trick usually come from being hands-on and creating a mental book of knowledge on what has happened in your past and how to react.

What female leaders inspire you?

I have a lot of respect for Tina Fey. Comedy is very male dominant and a hard career for a woman to crack. Tina Fey was the first female head writer at Saturday Night Live, then after leaving SNL, she went on to write, produce and star in her own TV shows and movies.  Women in comedy usually have a hard time and I have heard the phrase “women aren’t as funny” many times, but she stands on a podium that was much harder to climb than many of her male counterparts. 

But Ruth Bader Ginsberg is my number one. She has been fighting for women’s rights before it was cool. She graduated law school, first in her class, while taking care of her husband who had cancer. She went to her own classes as well as her husband’s and took notes for him so he wouldn’t fall behind, all while also raising her daughter. She became the second female justice in the US supreme court. She paved the way for women by advancing in her own career then continued to break ceilings by fighting for women’s rights in law.  

A huge thank you to Alex for taking the time to speak to us on International Women’s Day. If you are interested in joining an organization where you are empowered to fulfil your career potential, where change is championed and diversity embraced, and where female success is real and tangible – we are currently hiring. Contact us for more information about taking the next step in your career. 

How do you #Choosetochallenge? 

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