'˜Firms should be flexible in these progressive times'
A RECRUITMENT expert is leading the way for women in business.
After 10 years in the industry, Laura Bennett has been named as one of the top consultants in the country and has launched a bespoke jewellery business.
Laura experienced tragedy at a young age.
At just 16, her mother passed away. Laura then found herself with a mortgage and a house in Southsea.
She said: ‘There aren’t many 17-year-olds on the property ladder!
‘My mum was a strong woman, a teacher and single mother-of-two.
‘It made me realise that, out of something so sad, I had to be strong and take getting a new house very seriously.’
Laura worked her way up the ladder quickly at Gattaca recruitment, based in Whiteley, but her passion has always been in the arts.
Her determination led her to launch her own company, Laura Bennett Jewellery, where she designs bespoke pieces from her workshop in Hot Walls studios, Old Portsmouth.
Working in recruitment has given Laura an insight into how women and men can interact in the workplace.
Laura said: ‘I was the first woman at work to go part-time.
‘In these progressive times it’s important for managers to be more open and flexible.
‘I’ve been very lucky as my employers are incredibly supportive but I do hear about people at other companies struggling to get maternity leave or change their hours to meet family demands.
‘I was asked to help the company write its part-time policies. One woman was headed for maternity leave so we fast-tracked her promotion to make sure everything was in place before she left. If companies use forward-thinking they can tackle queries that are left by the wayside and can appear to be discriminatory.’