Starting in our London office back in 2013, Corinna Frye has forged an international path of success for herself and those around her. Corinna, who studied to be a diplomat at university, was searching for a career that suited her ambition and desire to make a positive impact for others. She found it at LVI Associates on the Renewable Energy team. Moving to the United States in 2017, she has managed to achieve a promotion almost every year since, to be where she is today. Corinna has grown her team from one to 18 andisn’t slowing down any time soon. “My goal has always been to create the biggest and most highly thought of Renewable Energy recruitment brand under the Phaidon International umbrella here in the US. Honestly, with as much female leadership as I can.”
With an attitude like that, we sat down with Corinna to discuss her success and what International Women’s Day means to her.
What are you most proud of in your career?
“I am extremely proud of the reputation we have built as a company within the Renewable Energy space. LVI Associates are known as expert specialists in the sector and our clients know they can trust us, so much so that they keep coming back to us. Whilst that may have been due to the seeds I planted throughout my career,it’s only been able to continue to go from strength to strength due to the brilliant people on my team.
We work in the Renewable Energy sector, so everything that we are doing, every candidate that we are helping get into a new business, as well as every business that we are helping to hire hard-to-find talent; they are helping to change the face of American Renewable Energy and are making a huge impact for future generations to come.
So, I manage to do what I wanted to do when I left college, which is to actually walk into a job that every day I feel proud of.”
Why do you think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day in the workplace?
“I think it’s important to help young women coming into business to understand that you can ask for more. I think celebrating International Women’s Day helps give them confidence that they are equal to men. You don’t have to shy away from a difficult conversation, you don’t have to wait in the back to be given something. We have made so much progress, women no longer have to be quiet and placid in the background. You can be a strong female leader and pave the way for more opportunities for equality in the future.
I count myself as extremely fortunate, in the sense that Phaidon International’s meritocratic promotion system meant that there was never a glass ceiling, and there still isn’t. Every time I decided to try something different and expand the horizons for my team, I was supported.”
How do you encourage gender diversity internally in your brand?
“I think it starts with, as a manager, having a completely blank slate in terms of the people that I want on my team to represent the business. For myself, I will look at someone and their merit. I would say we have a 60/40 split women to men and within that I have people from all different backgrounds. Diversity is really important for me with my team.
That is a reason that we continue to have such great relationships with the businesses that we work with is because we understand their vision as well, and we are very much a part of that change.”
How do you encourage gender diversity in your industry?
“We advocate. There are many instances of women who have been trying to return to work, so maybe their resume has a 2 year or 18-month gap, but they are a standout candidate. If these women were to just apply through a robotic system or via email, their story would not be correctly or fully represented to the client. So, storytelling and advocacy is something that we really push and that is honestly one of the reasons why we have been able to move the needle so far just in the past 12 months in terms of the number of women that we are supporting. We can go and speak to clients and say,‘she would love this opportunity, but she is a single mother and therefore can’t come into the office five days a week. Can we talk about a flexible schedule? How can we accommodate her needs?’
I think having the confidence to not just hide behind an email, but to get on the phone or meet with our clients and engage with them allows us to represent women and other candidates. We can broach the gap between the resume and their story and the value that they can bring to a business. I want to see our industry move more towards being consultative, which is something that I think AI will never be able to do. We bring empathy that makes the difference between reading a resume and truly understanding a person before making any decisions.”
What advice would you give to your younger self?
“I think that the thing that I would have told myself is that it is ok to ask for help and that you don’t have to do it completely by yourself. You’re not going to be looked at differently and none of the shine will be taken off your success if you ask for that help.
Particularly very early in my career, I was very single minded, and I am still sometimes very single minded, but that can be to your detriment. I tell my consultants all the time that it’s ok to fail and it’s ok to get it wrong. But I myself fell in that trap for a very long time of thinking it’s got to be perfect, I have to be perfect, and I must be the best.
I think asking for help and trusting that those who come to help you will get you to the same result that you would have got to by yourself. That’s what I wish I would have known a lot earlier in my career.”
For more interviews with the inspiring women at Phaidon International, take a lookat how other women in the business celebrate International Women's Day.