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Stephanie Matthews

Having joined the gender employee resource network at Virgin, Stephanie has led the launch of inclusive recruitment guides that are used alongside advice the People team give, to ensure that female applicants are on a level playing field. Recommendations included checking language, such as using gender neutral terms, removing exaggerated descriptive words and ‘desirable’ skills, highlighting unconscious bias, ensuring a gender balanced shortlist, and stating the salary range. The document has been well received, and hirers confirmed they could see this improving diversity at the company. Externally, Stephanie is President of women’s network, Bloom UK, which supports the media and marketing industry. Through collective action, Bloom UK’s members champion and encourage realness, vulnerability and honesty to drive genuine change for women. Their Real Voices strategy rests on three core pillars: future-proofing women’s careers via training, mentoring and networking; spearheading industry change with events and the Booth of Truth – a platform for collecting anonymous truths; and paying it forward for the next generation with a mentoring programme for female rising stars and support for their charity partner Women’s Aid. Under Stephanie’s leadership in 2019, they’ve brought more male allies into the equation through a partnership with The Book of Man, and a cross-mentoring pilot with senior industry men, The Exchange