The launch of HERA – Her Advantage

The events, courses, mentoring and training we deliver to business men and women is perfect for those entering the job market. Alas it makes for depressing reading on the graduate gender pay gap that adds another layer of bias to women before they even get to the workplace! Learn more here.

Mandie has often deplored that “businesses don’t have the best recruits – they have the recruits that believed they deserved to be there and those that had been groomed to excel in business. Which means often the best candidates for business and commerce slip through the net!

Over the years Mandie has applied her coaching, strategies and knowledge to help many students and graduates to excel in the workplace speaking for universities on confidence, communication, personal branding and how to stand out to an employer and land your dream job.

Here we hear the very real 2024 issues women graduates face….And we’ve got to be honest it is a devastating read. Imagine you sent an employee for training at £45,000, you would not be happy if it didn’t deliver would you? And yet students face debts of that scale and often no support to secure a good job post degree – we want to rewrite that. Can you help us?

“Leading up to the end of uni and towards graduation, I have had no assistance with getting a job straight out of uni. Nor has my university offered any fast-track opportunities for company jobs I have multiple different work experiences in the field, my longest being graphic design for a design agency for at least 3 years. I have even been a digital content editor for a British-Korean music artist who is signed under a Korean music label.

So many international students have more opportunities than me. In a class a while back, I got pointed out and compared to one of the international students in the room, in front of my whole class. The conversation was revolved around how companies like to hire ‘worldly individuals’ and how our backgrounds affect how ‘worldly’ we are.

(For context, I am attending university in my home town. Not by choice, but because I was not able to obtain a scholarship to study abroad and I would have never been able to sustain myself financially abroad without the help. Also, at this point In time, becoming a homeowner is becoming nearly impossible for university graduates at my age in the uk).

So my only chance, was to work alongside university. Most of my weeks for the last three years have been 50+ hour weeks with working 24 hours a week at my part-time job, attending lectures, practicals, getting my necessary work experience hours, being my course representative, and completing all of my creative tasks in my free time.

Going back to this in-class discussion, my lecturer points to this international student and says ‘Because she grew up travelling with her parents, she is comfortable travelling and being a ‘worldly’ individual. That’s why she has been able to do internships in multiple countries and feel comfortable doing so. Such as doing a year-long apprenticeship for Sony music Italy.’

Then turns to me and says ‘Your parents were born and raised here, never left. So you have only felt comfortable doing the same. That’s why you haven’t studied or work anywhere outside of your hometown.’ This is where this huge realisation hit me of how unfair this perception is and how easy this means it must be for potential employers to view me the same way.

So I then turned to this international student directly and said, ‘Do you have a scholarship?’.

They said no.

‘So you’ve worked to be able to afford these things?

They said no.

‘So how can you possibly afford to not only study abroad without working or paying for any of it, but also been able to travel and live in multiple different countries to get more and better work experiences/ opportunities than me?’

Their reply was that their parents fund everything for them… So what looks to people as me not being as cultured as others on my CV, is actually me working twice as hard as these people in order to sustain myself while they simply have the money to spend on getting better opportunities than me and they come out with way better resumes.

That is such a… demotivating realisation. I have been working 50/60 hour weeks… for three years, and have had to grovel for all of my work experience so far… and these people who’s parents fund their entire education, work experiences and lifestyle get to look 10X better than me on their CV than I could have ever dreamed to in my whole time at university..?

Unrealistic requirements? Most digital media jobs (where I’d like to be) that I have found online have been advertised as ‘entry level’, so why on earth are the necessary requirements things such as having 5+ years of work experience under a well established media company or having a social media account with at least 100,000 followers.

Since when are companies allowed to ask people for their personal social media accounts so that they can check their follower numbers and statistics to see who has the most followers, likes and views to influence who gets the job???? Any places that don’t want to hire you do not address you with a rejection email at least? It being a standard thing to not get back to people if they don’t get the job doesn’t in any way, shape, or form help people know what they can improve on to do better next time?

Especially if it’s a company that you would be keen to apply for again next time the chance arises? There is zero opportunity for growth in this sense. So many entry-level jobs are 1 year fixed term. Some people who leave university just want stability for themselves when they are at the time in their life they are most learning to start sustaining themselves on their own?”

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