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Female Empowerment: the power of women in the workplace

Dartmouth operates on a unique Classroom to Boardroom business model, with a specialist team recruiting for junior-level roles in the financial services sector. Mariana's journey began at the University of Bath, seeking a smaller, community-oriented location to contrast her upbringing in Singapore. She found herself in London during her placement year, gaining invaluable HR experience in the food and beverage sector at Czarnikow which allowed her to explore roles. She found it an amazing opportunity to expand her network and gain a professional understanding of multiple industries. This transformative period allowed Mariana to improve her knowledge on interpersonal dynamics, laying the foundation for her people-focused career. As an integral part of the Early Careers team, Mariana wears many hats from active recruiting to strategic planning.

The firm's unique hiring strategy prioritises "potential" over pedigree, championing diversity of thought, experience, and people. Dartmouth partners with candidates for the long-term, guiding them on their journey through first placement, to junior level roles and eventually senior levels and C-suite. Mariana's daily duties are vast and include managing multiple and varied stakeholders, arranging interviews for clients and candidates, and connecting employers with their potential future talent. Simultaneously addressing challenging questions and conflicting priorities is a key skill that Mariana believes can be developed in the industry. Despite the demands of her role, she finds the uniqueness and diversity of each conversation interesting and energising, stressing the importance and value of human connection. Dartmouth's growth from 70 employees when she first joined in 2021 to almost 200 employees across the Group today, reflects the exciting opportunities within the industry and the firm. The job itself gives an immense sense of achievement and fulfilment, creating relationships at a key time in a candidate’s life and helping to make crucial decisions at these pivotal points in their careers. Mariana shared: “It is important to do a job you love, but equally doing it with people and a culture that fits you".

With a young culture and strong relationships, Dartmouth is a great place to kick-start your career. Appreciating the importance of connecting on a personal level, Marianna makes sure to foster friendships in an environment where collaboration is key. Challenges around developing confidence haven't deterred Mariana: “Sometimes, it’s so important to build your confidence because people may take that as a weakness and try to overstep you”. She navigates the industry with resilience, addressing stereotypes and emphasising the value of her knowledge. In conversations with senior team members, she feels that their different levels of experience are valued, while a fresh perspective is always appreciated. The even gender split she observes along with awareness of the expertise and work fuelling your development helps mitigate the feeling of impostor syndrome in the industry. Mariana shares that if you are looking for a relationship-driven role, it is an incredible space to be in. The industry demands resilience, organisation, and the ability to establish yourself as a reliable person to those you partner with. Mariana shared that many employees develop their technical skills through Dartmouth’s strong in-house training programmes. Looking to the future, Mariana remains optimistic, recognising the supportive environment at Dartmouth. Despite the demanding nature of the industry, the firm's work-from-home policy and the examples set by the high-achieving women within the company provide a reassuring outlook for personal and professional aspirations.

At Dartmouth, Mariana has a number of female role-models that have encouraged her within the industry. Dartmouth’s CEO Terri Loska and the senior leadership team within Early Careers including Lizzie Louis and Mathilda Johnston-Jones, (both who joined the firm as graduates) are now Managing Director and Director respectively, demonstrating the genuine career opportunities at Dartmouth. Mariana paints a picture of a driven and resilient woman, thriving in a male-dominated and challenging, yet also rewarding industry, paving the way for aspiring leaders in recruitment.

We'd like to extend a big thank you to Grace Mcquillan-Leonard and KCL Women in Business for publishing this piece. You can read the piece in full here.

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