Celebrating her seventh anniversary at Phaidon International this year, Kayleigh Regan is the epitome of making the most of your ambition and the opportunities available. Beginning her journey in the London office at LVI Associates, after struggling through a difficult first six months, Kayleigh found her stride and hasn’t looked back since. After growing a team as Principal in London, after two and a half years Kayleigh took the opportunity to move to Singapore to open LVI Associates there. About a year and half ago Kayleigh became the Director of a second brand, opening EPM Scientific in APAC. We sat down with her to discuss her success and the ways in which she uses it to empower others.
What are you most proud of in your career?
"I’ve always been very proud of the beginning of my journey, I joined a very male dominated office in London, working in a male dominated industry. There weren’t many female Directors at that time, so there weren’t really that many females to look up to. But it didn’t stop me. I worked really hard, and so did my team. My manager was super supportive, he definitely worked with me to achieve my goals.
As I’ve achieved my promotions, I’ve been able to become that female leader that a younger me would have looked up to."
Why do you think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day, particularly in the workplace?
"I think it’s necessary to still celebrate International Women’s Day every year as it reminds people that it’s not easy. It’s not easy to be a woman in the workplace, even still today. There are so many barriers still in place that women have to think about, such as the repercussions of starting a family, which can have a massive cut in our career. By speaking about these issues, we raise awareness and can hopefully continue to see positive change.
It’s also a great chance to highlight the ways in which companies can be more supportive of women. Ensuring there are measures and plans in place so that women are supported and have equal opportunities for success as their male counterparts. "
How do you encourage gender diversity internally in your brand?
"The teams I’ve built are pretty even when it comes to gender diversity. But honestly, when I’m interviewing people I don’t think about their gender, it’s not something that goes through my mind when I meet someone new and am looking at their potential. I don’t choose people simply based on their gender or background. "
And how do you encourage gender diversity in your industry?
"Working with both candidates and clients, we want to make sure roles are as attractive as possible. Sometimes that means ensuring there are things like maternity leave and medical insurance that covers pregnancy included in compensation packages. This means employers can build a more diverse team and employees have the support they need to succeed. Especially in the sectors that I work in, which are historically predominantly male, it is really important that we make these opportunities as accessible as possible. "
What advice would you give to your younger self?
"If I could give my younger self any advice, it would to not be bothered about gender, at least in the sense of it holding me back. I’ve been told by a lot of the people I work with, when I ask for advice, that being a woman is actually a strength. Especially in this industry. Rather than holding me back, I now view my gender as a positive. I would like to tell my younger self, and other young women, that it’s not a disadvantage at all. Being a woman can truly be an advantage."
For more interviews with the inspiring women at Phaidon International, please visit our hub here.