Gatekeeper, Whose Life Will You Change Today?

by | May 20, 2022

As the gatekeeper to employment, recruiters & HR can change lives.

I’m just back from my first proper holiday in 4 years. To be fair, Covid did a number on the last few years but still this is not a good habit to be in! I have now scheduled more breaks.

To recharge and rebalance, I like to go off the beaten track and do something active. This time, a women’s expedition in Morocco.

Intrepid Travel describe it as ‘an unforgettable expedition to the remote and less-travelled reaches of Morocco. Experience the side of Morocco they don’t tell you about in the guidebooks. Break bread with Amazigh (Berber) families in remote homes, see how an artist co-op is empowering female rug-weavers in small villages, take in the beauty of the far-flung M’goun Valley over four days of hiking with the region’s first local female guide, and enjoy the singing and dancing of Moroccan women in cultural ceremonies in rural communities.’

Unforgettable is correct.

Life affirming is also true.

And a reminder of the power of the divine feminine, something we all possess no matter our gender.


Changing lives

Though I could talk about how much fun I’ve just had, the self-limiting beliefs I blew away during the 4-day hike, or how eye-opening it was to experience an all female group of like-minded travellers, I want to talk about 2 women.

2 women who ignore the circumstances they find themselves in and break down barriers.


Hafida Hdoubane

Hafida Hdoubane & Katrina Collier hiking in Morocco

Hafida was our group leader. This may not seem that remarkable from the outside but she was the first female mountain guide in Morocco. 18 years on, there are only 10 female guides. Morocco ranks in the 10 worst countries for gender equality. And 80% of rural Moroccan women are illiterate. (See her on the BBC)

With the intention to change the lives of less fortunate women, Hafida seeks out those who can benefit from the income of these women’s only groups. Those women who don’t have an alternative way to earn income and support themselves and their children.

“Tourists can demonstrate the value of education, independence, and a sense of adventure. In return, rural Moroccans can show tourists that wide open spaces and close families are equally important and valuable” – Hafida Hdoubane

Witnessing first hand the discrimination she receives, I remain awed by all she has and is achieving by being intentional about the impact she makes to other women.


Oksana Kikhtenko

Oksana Kikhtenko & Katrina Collier in Kyiv in 2019

I mentioned Oksana in my post Recruiters Standing With Ukraine and nearly 3 months on, what is happening in Ukraine is rarely far from my mind. I am grateful for the freedom I have each day. If you have it, I hope you are too.

In circumstances few of us will ever experience or understand, Oksana is using her experience and network to put on a 5 day online HR & recruitment event to raise valuable funds for the Ukraine.

Determined. Resilient. Paying-it-forward. While living in her war torn country.

It’s just $90 to join us and you’ll see she has attracted an impressive line-up of speakers (and me) to enrich your HR & recruitment knowledge. Full info:

Buy a ticket. Gift one to a fellow HR or recruiting professional. Join us. 🇺🇦 💙 💛


What lives can you change?

As the gatekeepers to new jobs we have the opportunity to change lives every single day.

When we lead with love and kindness, we never really know the lives we touch. But when we add in intent, we take that power to a whole new level. Because it’s in the thousands of small things we do every day that creates the impact.

As a recruiting or HR professional, could you:

  • check the wording on your adverts/InMails to ensure they are inclusive?
  • champion an applicant by giving them a few more minutes of coaching & guidance?
  • give life-changing feedback to a rejected applicant?
  • call out bias instead of turning away in discomfort or despair?
  • bring someone up with you as you grow, learn and evolve?

This list is just initial thoughts! What small changes could you make to change the lives of another?


Originally posted on LinkedIn in the Recruitment Isn’t Broken newsletter. For more, be sure to subscribe below, grab Edition 2 of The Robot-Proof Recruiter, check out The Collective, and listen to The Hiring-Partner Perspective.


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