Jennifer Zaborowski: Wide-Angled vs. Laser Focused

by | Feb 26, 2021

What a joy to interview Jennifer Zaborowski PhD, Associate Director, IT Business Operations, about leadership, recruiting and mentoring.

Cartoon and playground references, the importance of building women up, the book Hardball for Women, the different perspective women, especially women leaders, bring to male-dominated industries, and, of course, sprinkled with many laughs.

Jennifer shared why she relies on recruiters to keep her up to date, and her perspective will inspire hiring leaders on wide-angled versus laser-focused team members.

Grab a cuppa & settle in to find out more about: 

  • Things you can’t see while laser-focused and others being in their wide-angle.
  • Working with HR to get women on their hiring panel.
  • Having a recruiter that pushes back if you are asking for “Fred Flinstone” when you need “George Jetson.”
  • The aha moment of having a two-sided vetting process helps get better talent.


Full Podcast Transcript with Jennifer Zaborowski

Katrina Collier 0:00
Hello, I am Katrina Collier, and as part of my mission to inspire all the people, that recruit people, to treat people better, I bring you The Hiring Partner Perspective (Unedited) podcast. Here you will hear from those hiring leaders who create true partnerships with Recruiters, HR and Talent Acquisition, because they know that it delivers a better result for the business and a better human experience. May this podcasts inspire other hiring leaders to create better partnerships with their recruiters and HR, and may it inspire recruiters to create true and valuable partnerships with their hiring leaders. Because people make businesses succeed, and people matter. So let us begin.

Well, hello, Jennifer Zaborowski, if I pronounced that correctly. Welcome to The Hiring Partner Perspective (Unedited) podcast.

Jennifer Zaborowski 0:59
Thank you very much, Katrina, I could not be more excited to be here.

Katrina Collier 1:03
I’m really grateful for your time, especially as in your current role, you are the Associate Director, IT Business Operations. That sounds very posh, what does that actually mean for we mere non-IT mortals.

Jennifer Zaborowski 1:17
It is a fun title, isn’t it? I got to pick it up in the last re-org. So this isn’t my first role in my current shop, but basically, what I’ve been doing since I got there is the company grew spectacularly quickly, IT grew spectacularly quickly, so I’ve been able to do, get my hands on lots of exciting process development and process improvement. My current things that I’m working on is I manage the IT knowledge management function, that’s all the documentation and making sure our fantastically brilliant technologists can find stuff that they need procedures and stuff, and I’m building an IT Training function. We’ve never had one of those before. So I’m getting to have all the fun.

Katrina Collier 1:58
I find the whole non investment of training within companies quite fascinating, but it’s another rant, I’m not going to go into at this precise moment.

Jennifer Zaborowski 2:07
I think that was probably one of the things driving my position is there’s a recognition in the technology, and IT used to change every year, every couple of years. Some of the technology partners are releasing new stuff, like every week. So we need a really robust training function to say this is coming out in a few months, you better learn it now. Because you know, developing your people is critical.

Katrina Collier 2:29
Why is it critical? I know why it’s critical, but just in case somebody actually doesn’t know why it’s critical. Hint, hint. Anyone listening.

Jennifer Zaborowski 2:38
Well, I think for me, my philosophy, a lot of it is actually around motivation, because when people feel invested in, they’re so like, motivated and primed and empowered to give back. And I think an employee who’s confident he or she kind of knows what he or she’s doing. And they’re confident logging into a system or they’re confident practicing a soft skill, even stuff like public speaking, because IT is full of introverts. And we need a little support with that. So we invest in our people, and then in turn, it’s like they repay us with dividends, it’s awesome.

Katrina Collier 3:08
You must get higher retention, actually, it must help you hire as well. But you must get better retention, if you’re developing people as well.

Jennifer Zaborowski 3:14
I think it definitely has an impact on recruiting that paired with things like the, you know, robust internship program, and then lots of people who are willing to be mentors, you know, after the hiring process, but yeah, the turnover is extremely low.

Katrina Collier 3:29
Yeah, that’s see. So, it all makes sense, doesn’t it? I’m always saying that, I mean I look at my career, you know, started 30 ish years ago, and of course, there wasn’t the internet to show behind the scenes or to open the door to your company. So people couldn’t see what your company was like, and they couldn’t see the other jobs. So because people didn’t really invest in their people, but now it’s changed, which is lovely, lovely to hear. And the other thing I saw in your background that, I really loved. Was that your 2020 mentor, which I assume is still a 2021 mentor as well. At Her Honor Mentoring, can you tell us a bit about that, because it looked amazing.

Jennifer Zaborowski 4:06
It is a fantastic program, and it pairs the women who are in, you know, established professionals, usually in leadership roles with young women who are just finishing their last year of high school. And the young women that become mentees are in varied situations, you know, possibly some of them don’t have folks in their families who’ve been to higher education, or maybe they’re navigating some financial constraints, and our job as a mentor is to help develop things like leadership skills and practical skills and money skills and really kind of kit them out for the real world once they finish High School and go off to University, and I honestly think that the mentors get as much more out of it than the mentees do. I’ve basically, I’ve consistently mentored over my career because it’s just really, really important to me, but I absolutely love this program and my mentees a rock star.

Katrina Collier 4:58
What, I was literally gonna ask that and you sort of alluded to it, but I’m going to get you to go further down. What have you gained from it? No, because I mentor a few people as well. So I know what I gained from it. But I’m always talking to people who want to ask someone to mentor them, and it’s making sure there’s a return. So you know, it’s a balance. So how have you grown during this all changed? Or how has it surprised you even?

Jennifer Zaborowski 5:22
I’m sure, and it’s funny to me, because people are always like, so stage fright when they’re like, I need to be mentored, would you like to mentor me? And of course, I’m like, weeping with a joy and feeling flattered that I’ve been asked, because to me, it’s like someone thinks that I’m, you know, clever enough or have enough experience that they want to, you know they want to listen to me, and that’s like a huge compliment. So I hope no one would really be afraid to ask for mentoring. But for me, it really the dialogue was someone who has a fresh and sometimes even completely unvarnished perspective, sort of forces me to refine my thinking, there’s a really healthy back and forth, because somebody who doesn’t have 20 to 30 years of industry experience 20 or 30 years as a female, in a male workforce, all of those things that have kind of shaped me, they don’t have any of that. So they ask really real basic questions, and it makes me think, and I love that. It’s also just the delight of seeing someone you know, and if you have kids, it’s a it’s a similar process, you know, you’re pouring into someone, and investing in their life, and then you watch them grow, and then they go off and do wonderful things. One of my mentees, actually, she was an intern that I also mentored, and she came in, and she was convinced she was going to be a game designer. And then you know, we kind of like, which is fine, that sounds super cool. But, you know, in talking to her, I’m thinking, I don’t know if that’s a forever position on things. If it had been like about a boyfriend, I would have gently steered away from it. So it was. And I said, Well, why don’t you go and work a week with this team and see, you know, put some of those wonderful developer skills to work and why don’t you go here, and, you know, put your investigative skills through, she ended up changing her career. And you know, just like with parenting, just giving somebody advice doesn’t necessarily work, but kind of getting to know them, and it’s a two way relationship. I think it’s delightful to be able to have a positive impact on somebody who’s still coming along.

Katrina Collier 7:18
And I love the fact you almost got her to go and play in the different teams. And I’m trivializing the way but I just test this out, go and play this and try it on. How does it fit? That’s so cool. You know, you alluded to that thing, and I’ve worked in male dominated industries. I’ve worked in the trade and staffing and I’ve always actually felt really comfortable. I’ve never thought anything of it. But, obviously, you’re clearly a woman confidently working in IT. We know this is a really male dominated industry. Yeah. What do you think that hiring leaders can do to encourage more women into the sector?

Jennifer Zaborowski 7:55
Oh, yes, absolutely. And this, you know, I came from an investment banking background, all of my early stuff.

Katrina Collier 8:01
That’s very male dominated.

Jennifer Zaborowski 8:03
Yeah, Financial Services, and, you know. I’ve kind of always gravitated towards both in London, and in New York, big companies, I just like the environment. And it never bothered me, I love working in these male teams, because basically, some of the stuff that I think characteristics and core competencies and ways of working and interacting that are kind of native programming for women, most a lot of women are not necessarily native core skills for a lot of men. So when you can come into a group, and you’re a good connector, and you’re a good collaborator, and you’re good peacemaker, and you’re not competitive in the same way, and you’re good at making connections between ideas that don’t look related to somebody who has like, men typically have such laser vision, and women have more of a wide angle lens. And then you get both together, then you get the laser focus, and I’m thinking about all the things that you can’t see in your single beam, while you’re going deeper than I’m going with my wide angle beam. It’s so powerful, and I think once you’ve built up relationships and consistently added value. I, for me, it’s just you know, I feel like a valued member of the team. So from my perspective, when I’m talking about this with other young women, women who are coming into the workforce, I do a lot of university recruiting frequently, and you know, I’m running my mouth all the time on LinkedIn, I love that place. It’s important to be able to share you know, it, this sounds daunting, but really, it’s not, and before you’ve even set foot in University, you have probably a lot of these inherent skills that are sometimes missing in a predominantly male workforce, and so you have a great contribution you can make and you just need to wait in there and be fearless. So just talking to them and talking about how fantastically fun IT and stem things are, but it does require some commitment during the University, recruiting. Doing the mentoring agreeing to be on a hiring panel anytime you’re asked, you know, things like that, too.

Katrina Collier 10:05
Yeah, that’s actually that’s very true, isn’t it? And it’s also because I, well I was running events before this little, you know, inconvenient pandemic appeared. Very annoying. But I was always, always making sure there are diverse panels, and I think it’s really important that the male speakers push back and say, no, we need more women speakers to come through, but that’s another whole conversation. Yeah. What I do want to hear more about though, was you mentioned before we came on, about a group that you’ve created within your current company to really support women as well. Can you tell me more about that?

Jennifer Zaborowski 10:43
Oh, I would love to, I get so excited talking about women in technology, we shorten it to WIT. Sometimes we invite lots of lap time, sometimes we invite male colleagues, you know, for to partner with them and events, and then we call it SWIT, it is supporting women and IT. So this little group, it really started, it’s just an informal, let’s go have an after work, dinner and drinks to celebrate the holidays. And we had such a good time, I invited one of our really senior leaders, female senior leader, and she just looked me straight across the table and said, “You know, this should really be at least quarterly, and I think you should aim for monthly.” And it just hadn’t occurred to me that there would be an interest. But you know, she only had to tell me once. And so we started doing quarterly before the pandemic, but then when this delightful pandemic locked us all in our houses, I kept hearing among female colleagues, the balancing what they were doing for their kids who are now at home and trying to do their work. And it’s in some ways, for us women, it hasn’t been all that different, because we do a lot of juggling anyway, and women who were looking for support and mentoring, navigating this workforce, you know, a very technology. They love the technology, but it is a male workforce. So, you know, we’ve been serving and talking to our women, and what they’re really hungry for is career development, and mentoring, and some personal development. Like, you know, core skills, I get shy when I do public speaking, I really would like to be more organised so I can hone my time management, and so this year’s focus, last year’s focus, there were a lot of speakers coming in and just sharing from the wealth of the experience, and, you know, we had Debi Easterday come in and talk about find your voice and the women are still talking about that when she really woke everybody up.

Katrina Collier 12:31
Who doesn’t love Debi Easterday?

Jennifer Zaborowski 12:33
My gosh, that woman is just so amazing, I adore her. Yes, and she really kind of hit us where we were the you know, make your voice heard at meetings, make your presence felt people are still talking about it. So our first event this year is going to be a career development panel, and we’re getting really practical, you know, here’s the spreadsheet to use to take your goals that you want to reach for the year and align them with the strategy in IT, and our you know, way, and you know, your competencies that your development, and here’s how you’re going to attract them. So at mid year and at end end, you’re handing your boss a spreadsheet, that has right there and black and white, what you said you were going to do and what you’re doing and what you’ve done, and learning plans, and we’re getting super practical, because I think women are less likely to go marching into someone’s office and say, darnit, gosh, darn it, I want to raise. But if they can come in with a presentation or data that says, Yes, here are the facts of what I have done for you this year, and let’s talk about how we’re going to respond to that, you know, it makes a, it’s an easier conversation, I think.

Katrina Collier 13:38
Yeah, absolutely, and we do do that. And I think there’s I mean, there’s so many things you just touched on there that relate to that that pandemic has, unfortunately set many women back, because they’ve had to take the role of carer and and homeschooler. And that exactly what you said, the confidence to go in, like, this is why I deserve this, this is what I’ve achieved. I love that you are making it so practical, as well. But I bet these are questions that many aren’t asking whether they change roles internally or at recruitment either. That have, you know, what’s development, where does the team fit in the grand scheme of the company’s goals and how will I be developed? And any questions we should be asking?

Jennifer Zaborowski 14:23
I think so too, and I was very impressed. I it got back to me because I, we have great, in my current shop we have really great business partners in HR. And one of the recent interviewees said I you know, after we knew that she was going to get the job was like, Why weren’t there women on my hiring panel? I know you have women in leadership. And it got everyone thinking and so you know, and I heard this story and another of the ladies in my leadership took it as a you know, as an assignment and we’ve been working with HR to make sure that yes, we do have women on hiring panels and we may be looking for different skills than the men are looking for. Which kind of, you know, gets us around to I actually, particularly for consultants, but also for full time, it is so important to have the help of somebody who’s good at finding new talent that fits what you’re looking for, it is absolutely vital. Because you can go in there with a list longer than what you gave Santa Claus, and somebody who’s good at that kind of a thing can really help you, and then when you’re putting all these wonderfully qualified candidates in front of a hiring panel, and you can influence that, yes, there are a lot of women in that mix. I think everybody wins.

Katrina Collier 15:34
Absolutely, and certainly Debi would do that with you, the way she partners. Totally. I mean, so many things there as well, and it’s funny with the hiring panels, like you took that really well, with someone saying, Why weren’t there women? You actually went, Okay, we need to do something about that. Some companies clam up, which is just ridiculous. And it’s amazing how often it’s women not thinking to put women on the hiring panel. It’s like ironic, but I see it all the time. I see a going back to the conferencing. Here’s this white male, middle aged speaking lineup that was put together by female and I’m just going Oh, stop it, stop it.

Jennifer Zaborowski 16:11
No, your hiring panels has got to look like your organisation, or it’s, it’s fake news otherwise? Yeah.


Katrina Collier 16:18
How do you do that as an organisation then with. Like you’re wanting to attract more women in? Are you really frank about like, where you’re at with your diversity? Do you know what I mean? Because some companies that pretend and then you get inside, and they’re like, 99%, white male.

Jennifer Zaborowski 16:36
We actually my current place is more blessed than a lot of previous shops, and that, particularly from like a global workforce perspective, you know, it’s like walking around the UN, which I love. And there’s diversity on a whole lot of demographics, lots of different, like, age groups are represented, for example, and a lot of very active ERG’s. So there is a positive story to tell, but then you hone in on the technology space, and I, when I’m talking about it, I usually say you know, if you have that problem solver, fixer upper, roll up your sleeves and jump in personality, then, you know, it would be really great to have you getting involved with the Women’s Network, because that’s what it’s like for us right now. We’re jumping in, we’re wading in, and we’re finding the problems and we’re addressing them, it’s in a really good place. But wouldn’t it be boring if that was already completely fixed? And people with you know, that kind of personality didn’t have anything to do? So? Yeah.

Katrina Collier 17:32
Definitely, definitely. Going to the flip side, you know, I’ve created this podcast, my idea was that hiring, I’m calling them partners, even though they call themselves hiring managers, will hear this and feel inspired, and I want recruiters to really take on that, you know, I mess it up when I do it. Like, I’m a partner, we’re doing this together. Right we are going to fill this roll together. If you had one tip, two tips you can give me 10. I’m happy with that. To ensure that recruiters partner properly, you know, say they are a female recruiter, looking at a very male dominated IT department. Have you got any tips for them to like, you know, partner properly? Because not everyone’s Debi, naturally,

Jennifer Zaborowski 18:14
Not everybody’s naturally.

Katrina Collier 18:15
Naturally all naturally for that matter.

Jennifer Zaborowski 18:17
Right? Well, I think one of the things that I really appreciate about a good partner, when you know, you need to add to your team, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person. So it’s, you know, not unlike a matchmaker, or, you know, you you’re basically asking them to find you somebody that’s then going to be part of your work family. So, for me, the soft skills, and the culture fit is probably as important than the technical skills. I can teach you how to put together training, I can teach you how to assemble, you know, a good document, write a good policy. I can’t teach you to enjoy working with others and get energy from that, you know. So I think having someone who’s a recruiter when I’m, you know, basically when I have a spot that I need to fill, I think I probably spent almost more time talking about this is the culture of my company. This is the culture of my department. This is the culture in my team, this is what we value. This is what you know, we really struggle with, and this is how I expect the person you’re going to find me to behave and what I want their attitudes to be, and, like, it’s really important that someone doesn’t need a babysitter and I can give you a piece of work, and then I let you go and be you and be wonderful and be brilliant. And please come to me if you hit any snags or you have questions or you just want to talk about it. But I’m relying on somebody who can be an independent self starter with a ton of initiative that’s critical.

Katrina Collier 19:43
But you know, also giving the time upfront. Like it’s this resistance of like a hiring manager pulls out the job description from three years ago, pings it over to HR and they pick it up to wherever be in internal or staffing, and as like they won’t spend the hour upfront to save 20 down the line, which is what I’m trying to get them to realise how much time they’d save. And I think. So you’re actually saying to recruiters don’t like don’t accept it, like partner properly spend the hour, demand the hour. Yes. Even though it an hour, you can cover a lot in an hour.

Jennifer Zaborowski 20:18
And if they’re resistant, then fine, we’ll do the server breakfast, which you were gonna do anyway or over lunch. But it’s, it’s more like, I mean, only an hour, and then I’m going to get back somebody that’s going to give me you know, if it’s a consultant, 2, 3, 4 years, or if it’s an FTE, given our turnover rate, I get practically and I feel married to this person. With that, and I think also one of the things that I wish that I really value about Debi and I really kind of rely on, I have not been at my current shop for a long time, I was being a good IT resource and shifting every two or three years, you know, as I was building my career, but I don’t have any plans to relocate at this point, which means I haven’t been in the market in a little while. And everything we do to stay current, it’s still not the same as you know, being a candidate. So I really rely on somebody to be eyes and ears and tell me, you know, that’s not how we describe those skills anymore. Maybe you want to be forward looking and look for this stuff. You know, we were really struggling with the position a little while ago, because you know, that the woman who reports to me and directly manages the technical writing function, we’ve been at this game a while. And so, you know, we’re trying to describe the newer technology that we use to do documentation. And honestly, you know, we’re not old ladies, but we’re not young, and we were struggling a little. So, you know, we’re calling up recruiters and saying, what is what is this kind of job description look like, now? We want to attack somebody with super current, I don’t care how old they are, but I want super current skills, and I actually want them to be able to nudge us forward when it’s needed. So I really need a recruiter to come and push back on me if I’m asking for Fred Flintstone and I need to George Jetson and you know. Right. American cartoon reference, I’m sorry.

Katrina Collier 22:07
I completely got it. It was just no, I was like more mind blown by what you said about the cartoon reference. Sorry. It was more like, yes, because if you understand, like, I’ve never thought about it, like on that level, like we do change the technologies are still the same, but we change the way we refer to it, for example, and I never really thought about that’s such a value add. I’m just thinking about how many recruiters will hear that and think, oh, I’ve never used that as a value add when I’m talking to a hiring manager now. It’s huge. I didn’t know it’s called this now. Like, yeah, it made it seem so obvious, but of course, you know, we all get stuck in our little bubbles doing our jobs don’t we.

Jennifer Zaborowski 22:40
And if you put on, you know, 20 years ago, when I was a hatchling in the workforce, you know, you could get away with bragging that you know, how to use PowerPoint, and my great you know, and Microsoft Excel, and I can schedule meetings in Outlook, because I’m that whiz kid, and if I see that on a resume now I’m like, Oh good, and I’m also going to assume that you can read and write.

Katrina Collier 23:02
Oh, my god our conversation about trying to book this, and I blocked it out all day, because it was an Outlook calendar invite because somebody decided making it step two, all day as the default setting was intelligent. Anyway, that’s another conversation, we are definitely not going down that rabbit hole. No, that would be dreadful. Did you have an aha moment in your use of interviewing where you just suddenly went, Oh, I got it, or is it just come with experience? Or have you had it like one of those big moments of learning to become a great hiring partner?

Jennifer Zaborowski 23:34
Oh, I know, it’s a better story if I had some kind of mountain top epiphany, but honestly, it was just, you know, it’s been more acute here. And I have a really dear friend that I work with who leads our most cutting edge most kind of forward facing technology team. And so they are on a par with folks like Amazon in terms of their technical skills. But he’s like, we can’t necessarily screen if somebody’s good at process, and we can’t necessarily screen if somebody’s got, like leadership skills or is a good collaborator, could you come in and help us with that? I was like, as long as you don’t make me ask him questions about cloud infrastructure, it’s a deal. And then then what we’re doing the debrief, it’s like, I have very different impressions than they did, but we ended up kind of splitting the difference. Because you know, candidates that I said that I don’t think this person is a fit, and I don’t think he’s gonna fit in your team for like these five reasons. And I’m like, Oh, you know what, this is important, because these guys sometimes work very long hours, and they spend a lot of time locked in a small room like a pod, solving a problem. If we sent somebody in there who doesn’t who can’t work the way that they work, it could be really disruptive and have a really real impact on their productivity. So that was kind of my, more like a Christmas tree light moment, than like a huge like, you know, mountain top moment it’s like ping, oh, okay, I understand why you care about this because the way you work demand somebody who can integrate quickly and be successful in this environment, and you know, I’ve done a number I did a number of interviews for him. And it’s having that kind of two sided vetting processes helps them get better talent. And so for me, that was just an interesting, I’ve always kind of preferred behavioral interviews and checking for that, because I can train you to do almost anything from a skills perspective, but that was a big aha moment. I didn’t realize other people valued that as much as they do. So that was a nice day.

Katrina Collier 25:36
But it doesn’t make sense, doesn’t it? Again we go into our bubble. This is really bad. I’m putting you on the spot so is, do you have a favorite behavioral question, then. Like it, you might be able to cope with me throwing you on the spot like that.

Jennifer Zaborowski 25:52
No, not at all. I it’s sort of partly depends on, you know, what the person is going to be doing. But one of my favorites, is I share a challenge that we haven’t solved yet. So there’s no right answer, and I’ll say, you know, here’s something that my team is trying to solve right now, and here’s the challenge, and here’s why it’s a challenge in our culture, and here’s what we’ve tried. If you join me tomorrow, what would you want to do? And it makes people very uncomfortable, because I don’t have an answer. And I’m not trying to get you to perfectly solve my problem. I want to hear how you think about it. And I want to hear how comfortable you are walking into unknown quantities, because guess what, that’s every day. And so I just want to hear them say, Oh, you know, and if I hear things like, Wow, that sounds interesting. Yeah, I can see how that’d be a problem, and it doesn’t sound like you’ve tried this or this. And with that flow it you know, the questions asked does that fly in your culture? How do you guys feel about this? I can see if somebody’s thinking about things the right way.

Katrina Collier 26:53
And you can also see if they’re okay with uncertainty?

Jennifer Zaborowski 26:56
Yes, absolutely.

Katrina Collier 26:58
Yeah. Because you’ll know immediately from that question. Well, on the other. They really, really need structure, they’re not gonna cope in this environment.

Jennifer Zaborowski 27:06
Well, and it’s also important to me in a leadership role, that I’m approachable and that I’m not just sitting up in some tower and spitting out orders. That’s really not how I do things. So.

Katrina Collier 27:17
Is that not what the Associate Director of IT Business Operations does sounds like that is what you should be doing. It’s a very posh job title.

Jennifer Zaborowski 27:25
Thank you. I like it as well.

Katrina Collier 27:27
I love job titles, I think they are fabulous.

Jennifer Zaborowski 27:30
Well for some reason they wouldn’t let me have Undisputed Queen of all things Business Operations, and I don’t know why. I did ask, but it was. Apparently that’s not a common title in our job market, and I was advised against it for that reason.

Katrina Collier 27:45
Oh I think that’s rude.

Jennifer Zaborowski 27:47
I might put it on my LinkedIn anyway.

Katrina Collier 27:49

Jennifer Zaborowski 27:50
But you know, there are a lot of people coming from particularly, you know, backgrounds, like I came from a financial services, it’s really hierarchical. And having a boss that’s going to be working beside you, not just supervising you can be a little, it’s like, you know, they want to understand why you’re engaged the way you are. So somebody who’s uncomfortable with a fairly friendly hierarchy, that’s something to note as well.

Katrina Collier 28:14
So it’s a leadership hierarchy, rather than a managing hierarchy. Absolutely. Hugely different. Massive difference.

Jennifer Zaborowski 28:23
Yeah, you know what, if I need to manage you, then you probably don’t belong in my team. If you’re comfortable with leadership, we’re gonna get along great.

Katrina Collier 28:31
Yeah. And that’s the way it’s going. The world’s going. There are some companies resisting that.

Jennifer Zaborowski 28:38
It might be the injection of so many women in the workforce. You know, I was just reading Hardball for Women, which is an old classic. But I was like I am IMing my manager, every few chapters going, Oh my gosh, because she read it early in her career, and the whole you know, sometimes little boys on the playground play competitive games, and there’s no winner when you play Barbie dolls, you know, different goal, just as successful. And it was like, why didn’t I think of any of these? I mean, I did play sports so I get the competitive thing, and of course, I can be competitive, and if somebody’s messing with someone on my team, you will see the original Mama Bear, I assure you, but that’s not the default mode. You know.

Katrina Collier 29:22
I think that’s why there aren’t a lot of women have bothered going through the glass ceiling because they actually go, Nah, I am not that competitive. Like we just are different, we’re wired differently.

Jennifer Zaborowski 29:33
So some companies have asked women to set aside focusing on their families or have been resistant to the work life balance and you just flat out can’t compromise on that. And, you know, that’s I’ve never been, I have five children. So I got and it’s a compromise I can’t. One of them is of to college. Yes, they range from 20 and a half who’s off at Bristol University in the UK. And then they go, they stair step down. I’ve got a couple in high school one in middle school and I have a kindergartner. He does not understand work life balance. So, and I don’t want to miss anything, and I’m fortunate that more and more places are getting tuned to that, not just for the moms, but you know, Dad wants to coach Little League or soccer and dad wants to go to the school play and the piano recital, too. So I think it’s probably maybe women were the ones who started the conversation and kind of forced it. But I think dads are benefiting, too.

Katrina Collier 30:28
Which is good, and I think there’s just the burnout thing, you know, the pandemic has allowed us to work from home, and it’s led to great flexibility. And many of us have opened our eyes and gone. We don’t want to be commuting, we want to be doing what you’re talking about. But there’s that health side of it, as well. Like kind of going, as you know, I just can’t work 12 hour days constantly and actually be productive. So yeah, big change ahead.

Jennifer Zaborowski 30:52
Yes it’ll be interesting to see what happens when we can go back to work, there will be those who are just tempted to slot right back into the old way of doing things, but I have a feeling a majority are just gonna be like, No, I don’t think that’s gonna work going forward.

Katrina Collier 31:08
Yeah. All the little, you know, the hilarious polls you see on LinkedIn where it’s like use the vote, the emotion, reaction button to vote. The majority are three days in the office two days at home or two days in the office three days at home as a response. There’s nobody very few sorry, there are some people saying because they’re probably full extroverts, and maybe in their 20s and want to party. They want to go back. Yeah. I flatly refuse, I’m like I work from home. I’ve actually gone a bit more introverted since I’ve been working here. I might just stay here forever.

Jennifer Zaborowski 31:35
Well sure it encourages that, but it’s, you know, and there’s a healthy mix. I love going into the office, but I need the deep work and the time when I can kind of cordoned myself off a little bit. And it’s I think that the other flexibility that I hope companies are thinking about. You know I might tell you that my default is three days a week or two days a week in the office, but there going to be some weeks that you see me four days, and they’re going to be some weeks that you see me no days. And that’s okay. Yep. You know, sometimes I have to be there, but sometimes you just really need to not be.

Katrina Collier 32:08
Yeah, and it’s like, it’s not like we can’t be accessed, right the phone.

Jennifer Zaborowski 32:13
Oh, my gosh.

Katrina Collier 32:14
Obviously nobody uses it to call anybody but you know, you have Text, WhatsApp, and Slack and every other way under the sun to get hold of someone, you know. They are within reach, none of us have our phones out of reach, because that would be scary. But anyway. JZ that was, this was amazing, and I shouldn’t call you that but I do love the whole story behind it. I so want to share but my God, but this is meant to be professional. If people want to find you are you happy if I pop your LinkedIn in the comments below and they can connect with you on LinkedIn or. I would absolutely love that LinkedIn.

Jennifer Zaborowski 32:45
I am. I check LinkedIn probably more obsessively than I check my other social media, and I’m always delighted to have a chat with somebody you know, about the stuff I’m working on the stuff they’re working on. It’s it’s a fun dialogue. I’ve made some great friends on LinkedIn.

Katrina Collier 33:02
Which is cool. Anyone listening to this will be chuckling at me saying that because they know my opinion on LinkedIn but anyway.

Jennifer Zaborowski 33:11
It started out as a necessary evil, but you know, just like the piano lessons that you were forced to take in second grade, it means that you can now play a little bit of piano right. I kind of look at it that way.

Katrina Collier 33:22
Might be able to get Mary Had A Little Lamb out. Anyway, on that note, I cannot thank you enough for joining The Hiring Partner Perspective (Unedited) podcast!

Jennifer Zaborowski 33:32
Thank you so much. Oh, it’s been an absolute pleasure. It was wonderful spending some time with you this morning. Thank you, Katrina.

Katrina Collier 33:38
Thank you for listening to The Hiring Partner Perspective (Unedited) podcast, proudly supported by the people at WORQDRIVE. Hopefully, you really enjoyed what you heard and have left feeling inspired. And if so, I would love your help to create real change. Please pass this podcast on to your hiring leaders and other recruiters and HR. Even share it on your social channels, if you feel so inclined. But the more reach we can get, the more change we can create. So please remember to subscribe, of course, on your favourite podcast platform. And do come and say hello @HiringPartnerPerspective on Instagram where I share behind the scenes of what’s going on. Until next time. Thank you.

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