Alisia Genzler, President and Chief Client Officer at Randstad Technologies US, is an industry veteran. With more than 20 years of experience under her belt, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more knowledgeable about the staffing industry. Along with her razor sharp business acumen, Alisia is a passionate and dedicated champion for women in technology. In between work and family commitments, she dedicates her time to mentoring young women through Randstad groups like WIRED (Women In Randstad Empowering Development) and external organizations like Girls on the Run.
“There’s a lot different things we, as individuals, can be doing to help support other women,” Alisia says. “I have been told by many women over the years that we do a very good job of preaching that we know we need to help, but we don’t necessarily take those words and put actions behind them.” Alisia has taken this mantra to heart and often tells women at networking events that, “It’s one thing to be here and be supportive of this event, it’s another thing to execute something, support something, serve as a mentor or a coach, get involved with young girls’ programs, and get them excited about the field they’re in.”
Both Leslie and Alisia are passionate advocates for mentorship and believe it’s all cyclical—what you believe, you can receive. If more women in technology share their experiences and provide coaching, guidance and serve as a sounding board to others, chances are we’ll see more women flocking to the industry and traditionally male-dominated roles.
“I think we’ve got a long way to go, but the more and more people that raise their hand and say ‘I will do something, I will help’ the more we will make an impact in women moving into the technology field,” says Alisia.
The Fight for Gender Equality
Alisia once wrote, “Despite the heightened attention to get more women in STEM fields, significant work remains to close the gender gap. For this change to take place, companies must make concerted efforts to support and promote greater gender equality in the workforce. There must also be present and committed mentors to female students of all ages to get them excited about future careers made possible by a STEM education.”
As Leslie often says, “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” And while that sentiment definitely applies here, there’s also something to be said about taking a chance or risk and diving in head first.
Alisia says, “Women, in particular, doubt themselves and put up obstacles that are unnecessary. They see things through a different lens sometimes and they question their abilities. I’ve done it myself. We limit ourselves.” Citing a report which showed that women will hold themselves back from applying for a job if they can’t check all of the qualification boxes, Alisia discussed how men typically don’t view it in the same manner. Rather, they see that they have a few qualifications but, don’t let that stop them from applying.
A continuous theme for TheEdge podcast seems to be the fact that women get in their own way. We can achieve gender equality if we reframe our thoughts and the conversations we have with ourselves about being “enough.” Men are equally as important to this fight for gender balance. When they speak up as mentors or advocates, it goes a long way because the point of view may be different and provide a new way of thinking.
Is Balance Possible?
Regarding balance, Leslie and Alisia tackle the issue of work/life balance and what’s truly possible. As a mother of two sons, Alisia has had her fair share of working mom guilt; however, she shares a story with Leslie about her sons’ reactions to the question of whether or not they wished she hadn’t worked when they were growing up. Their answer may surprise you.
Tune in to hear the rest of the conversation with Alisia and Leslie which covers diversity and inclusion, career advice, and collaboration with colleagues.