FTSE 100 companies still failing to increase ethnic diversity leadership: Britain’s top businesses must do more than just talk about change
Blogs 26th November 2019 3 minutes read
You know you’re in the right place when people can’t wait to welcome you back. Consultant, Jenny Gardiner (née Yarwood), talks about her decision to return to Green Park after six months away.
For some, returning to work after six months away might feel a little strange. But not for Jenny Gardiner, a Consultant in Green Park’s Private Sector Practice. Jenny was returning to her team after taking time to explore another role: “Coming back, there were no first day nerves at all,” she says. “It doesn’t even feel as if I left!”
For Jenny, although exploring another avenue had been a very valuable experience, returning to Green Park was definitely the right decision: “I originally joined Green Park in 2014 as a Candidate Manager, a role I held for three years. During this time, I was managing the client and candidate relationships of some of our biggest private sector clients” explains Jenny.
Throughout 2016, Green Park grew rapidly, increasing its turnover by 40%. During this time, Jenny’s role and responsibilities developed quickly. In February 2017, Jenny was promoted to Consultant focusing on the recruitment of permanent and interim senior HR professionals, a role she held for the next two years:
“While I loved my role and my team at Green Park, in April 2019, having spent 5 years in the business, I decided it was time to branch out and experience new pastures and a different challenge.”
“Throwing me a bridal shower for my upcoming nuptials and wishing me well on my next chapter, my Green Park family waved me off on my new adventure; a Resourcing Business Partner position within a leading financial services provider, a client who I had worked with previously.”
“The move gave me a new perspective and great experience, working in house at a diverse retail and commercial bank with over 200,000 employees. And while my new team were great, I genuinely missed Green Park and its unique values-focused culture.”
In October 2019, Jenny returned to Green Park as a Consultant with the HR Practice, focusing on the candidate experience. Having maintained a close relationship with her old colleagues, Jenny was able to work with Green Park’s leadership team to develop a bespoke role that played to her strengths, interests and future career goals. And she knew her instinct to return had been right within minutes of walking through the door.
“There were hugs and everyone said ‘We’ve missed you; it’s great to see you back!’ I also had a great response from my network of old clients and candidates as soon as I updated my LinkedIn profile.”
There was an equally warm welcome from Jenny’s manager, Jo Sweetland, saying: “Welcome back to the Green Park family!” And for Jenny, that’s a description that sums up the business perfectly.
“Green Park has a distinct vision, mission and values and these run through everything we do. Those values really resonate with me and I enjoy knowing that I work for an organisation with more than just a financial purpose. I think this is what has made Green Park so successful. More and more people are recognising the value of a business that is as socially responsible as it is successful in its service delivery. Green Park is an award-winning consultancy, but it is also a campaigning business which is raising industry standards in terms of inclusive processes and diverse placements. And those values aren’t just what we project externally. Internally, we are a diverse group of people empowered to contribute our ideas and stand up and have our say.
“Although it’s a very professional organisation, it really does feel like a family. You’ve got support from both a personal and professional perspective. Coming back, I felt as if I was home.”
Jenny comments that Green Park’s values are in evidence every day: in the way the business treats employees, offering everything from mental health initiatives and training opportunities, to social events.
“For me a crucial factor in a healthy company culture is the understanding that employees have a life outside work and that the personal is as significant for employees as the professional. Green Park recognises this.”
Jenny is now busy catching up with her network, focusing on her role and thinking about the future. Her advice for who may be considering a career within the business?
“If you work hard and commit, you get it all back ten-fold.”
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