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Spotlight: Celebrating International Women’s Day

Darian Khalilpour
Author: Darian Khalilpour
Date: February 27, 2024
Tags: Brand, Diversity, Healthcare Staffing, Inclusion, International Women’s Day, Spotlight

At Amergis Healthcare Staffing, our team members are at the heart of everything we do. Each month, our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) board highlights the story of Amergis employees who demonstrate our core values for healthcare professionals and their patients.

In honor of Friday, March 8 being International Women’s Day, our D&I team spoke with four team members, Recruiting Manager Lori Leverknight, Director of Divisional Strategy Amanda Pohl, Senior National Recruitment Manager Rachel Youngerman, and Recruiting Manager II Cassidy Mongin, to learn about their career journeys and what International Women’s Day means to each of them personally.

Tell us more about your role, what you do, and how you joined Amergis?

Lori: “I am currently the Recruiting Manager (RM) for an Allied team under Brendon Porges (RM2). I am a leader of a wonderful team of 5 and I joined [Amergis] because of a referral from a beautiful woman named Liz Berman (SNRM).”

Amanda: “I am the Director of Divisional Strategy with our Government division! My role is focused on developing the strategy behind government sales among our different markets. I work closely with Business Development Managers (BDMs), Account Managers (AMs), and Directors of Business Operations (DBOs) in my area to promote government business. I joined [Amergis] because I was determined to start a position in healthcare recruiting after college. I applied to probably 15 different [Amergis] recruiter positions hoping an office would take a chance on me! Thankfully, the Grand Rapids team offered me a position as a government recruiter and the rest is history.”

Rachel: “For over 15 years, I’ve worked as a National Recruitment Manager (NRM) in the Travel division, specializing in recruiting Physical and Occupational Therapists, as well as Speech Language Pathologists. My career began in 2008 when a friend suggested I explore recruiting due to my passion for connecting with people. Despite initial setbacks with competitors, fate intervened when a chance encounter at a restaurant led me to a seasoned staffing professional who guided me into the field. It felt like it was meant to be, and since then, I’ve never looked back.”

Cassidy: “I am an RM II and manage a stellar team as well manage my own book of business. I make it my business to advocate for my team and support local offices and their clients. I was referred to [Amergis] by a past coworker in 2020.”

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Lori: “Let me be honest, it didn’t mean much to me until I watched the TV series Madmen and saw what it really was like to work in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s. My grandmother and mother never really mentioned how it felt or how they were treated differently in the workplace. It really made me realize how women pushing for equal rights and opportunities over the years have changed not only how women are treated at work, but even day to day. There is now respect, and if there is not, we have a great company that we can report issues to and it will be handled, not accepted nor ignored. I think since most companies I worked with have been just amazing (including [Amergis]), it is easy to forget how things once were and now I am truly grateful for the women that came before me and hope to be just like them!”

Amanda: “International Women’s Day serves as a reminder to me of the progress that has been made in women’s rights and empowerment, while also thinking about what still needs to be done to achieve true gender equality. I believe it is a time to celebrate the achievements of women not only throughout history but also those currently around us.”

Rachel: “To me, International Women’s Day is a day of recognition, support, and honoring the fearless women who’ve paved the way. It’s a time to highlight the strides we’ve taken towards gender equality.”

Cassidy: “It is a time of acknowledgment and recognition of all the great minds and accomplishments across the globe that women have made. It is important to take this time to understand history and know how far we have come and know we still have lots of work to do.  However, it should not be the only time this is done.”

What are you most proud of in your professional career at Amergis?

Lori: “I was extremely proud when I hit contest my first year and was voted as a 2022 NRM of the Year nominee. I have also been nominated for Leader of the Quarter during Q4.”

Amanda: “I am really proud of being the first female staffing BDM in my office when I was promoted from recruiter to BDM! At the time, the entire leadership team inside and outside the office was only male. In my area of the company there were only 4 or 5 other female BDMs. I don’t think I even understood the significance of this until other female recruiters would tell me how great it was to finally have a woman in a management position and how their voice felt heard a little more.”

Rachel: “I am most proud of my consistency and work ethic. Successfully achieving contest goals 15 consecutive years is no small feat. I celebrate myself and take pride in the work I accomplish every day.”

Cassidy: “I am most proud of watching my team grow and succeed and being able to support and be a part of their journey and career.  I am also most proud of being one of the nominees for Manager of the Year in 2023.”

What barriers, if any, have you faced during your professional career due to being a woman?

Amanda: “I have been in several sales meeting as the only woman, and I think some of the biggest challenges women face are the unconscious bias amongst others. As a woman, being soft spoken/calm can be viewed as us being ‘weak.’  If we speak sternly, we can be viewed as being ‘cold’ or ‘unapproachable.’ When we speak passionately, we can be seen as ‘too emotional.’ I have been called ‘sweetie’, ‘honey’, and ‘dear’ by far too many male clients. It can be hard to connect when we are the only woman or one of a few women in a room. However, it is important to remember when we are showing empathy, speaking passionately, actively listening, etc., that these are not weaknesses but rather powerful tools that can lead to strong relationships with HCPs/SBPs or clients.  I have also been lucky to have always been surrounded by supportive men and women throughout my entire career to help support me as I have faced different challenges.”

Rachel: “In my professional journey, I’ve encountered obstacles typical of many women. However, I’ve approached these challenges as opportunities for growth and empowerment. I’ve turned barriers into steppingstones, ultimately achieving success and making meaningful contributions within [Amergis] and the Healthcare Staffing Industry as a whole.”

Cassidy: “I really haven’t thought much about it. If I face a barrier, I don’t feel that it is a gender barrier, but one that we all face in the industry right now. I feel like my position is based on my own merit and my mind and my continuous efforts to support and build my team and this company.”

Who are some other women that inspire you the most, and why?

Lori: “Out of my time with [Amergis], I have had amazing women that have led the way here at [Amergis]. One being someone that trained me and was at one time my direct manager – Kristen Minzter. She has shown me how if you work hard, you will not only lead in spread, but you will also have great opportunities to grow within our company. She went from NRM to RM to Recruitment Operations Manager (ROM) in less than 2 years! She is one of the hardest working, yet extremely positive women I have ever met! Another person is Verlyn Forde-Drummond. Verlyn is someone that I have been reaching out to when considering applying for my current RM position. She has been very encouraging and sometimes as a woman, we really need one another to lift up one’s self-confidence. It is easy to be unconsciously biased against ourselves by thinking that we cannot get the next promotion unless we are already extremely successful. No, we need to stand tall and go for it. Verlyn has really taught me this. Advocating for fairness and equality is crucial in any organization. If you feel that something is unfair or unjust, it’s important to voice your concerns in a respectful and constructive manner. Open communication is key to addressing issues and working towards positive change.  Remember that promoting fairness and equality is a continuous effort, and it requires the commitment and collaboration of everyone involved. By speaking up and advocating for what is right, you contribute to creating a more inclusive and equitable work environment for yourself and your colleagues.”

Amanda: “Outside of [Amergis] my mom is no doubt the woman who inspires me the most! She is hardworking, kind, and dependable. However, the trait I have always admired the most is her incredible selflessness. My mom is always putting the feelings and wishes of other people before her own even if it is at the expense of her own feelings and wishes. I try to take a page out of her book each day and exemplify her selflessness because I have seen the way she has impacted others.  Internally with [Amergis] I have to give major credit to Shannon Avery! Shannon has been a major role model in my career at [Amergis].  Her positivity and ability to adapt to every situation makes me think anything is possible! What I have learned from Shannon the most is that if I am hitting a wall there is always a way to get past it and to never take the easy way if it’s not the right way! I always say, ’I’m just trying to be like Shannon when I grow up’”

Rachel: “I would be remiss if I did not highlight the strong female leaders within our organization. The equality and growth for woman at [Amergis] has been incredible to watch over the years.”

Cassidy: “I would absolutely say my mother; she raised 4 very solid kids. I am the oldest of 4 and she instilled very strong mentalities of the world in all of us. I am very grateful for her and all she continues to pour into us.  Although, I am blessed to have both parents still around it was my mother that was most instrumental in my growth and development.”

What advice do you have for other women at Amergis, or what has been the best advice you’ve received?

Lori: “Best advice is what I have heard time and time again from DBO Kevin Lucania and Brendon Porges… ‘FALL FORWARD.’ Go for it! You will fall sometimes, but keep pushing forward”

Amanda: “It is hard to just choose the best advice I’ve ever received, so I will share a few: be confident and curious, don’t ever try to be something that you are not, and stand up for yourself. I think in a way these all relate to each other. It is easy to get caught up in what you are doing and believe you need to change your approach or who you are. Always be confident in yourself and stand up for yourself when you need to! Don’t be afraid to be different!”

Rachel: “Embrace confidence and authenticity in everything you do. Believe in your abilities, speak up for yourself, and never shy away from pursuing your goals. Remember, your unique perspective and contributions are invaluable to our collective success. As for the best advice I’ve received, it’s to always stay true to myself and trust my instincts, even in the face of uncertainty or adversity.”

Cassidy: “The advice that I have for other women in [Amergis] is stay in your own lane and block out the noise!  Show up for yourself, do your best for yourself and remember this: what is said and done around you is not a reflection of you, but your work is.  The best advice is from Angela Hagan – ‘SPEAK UP AND ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF!’ DON’T STAY SILENT!  Your voice needs to be heard!”

What is a burning idea or suggestion you want to share with other women in Amergis?

Lori: “I wanted to share with the ladies all across [Amergis] to please don’t be afraid to voice your concerns. Know that [Amergis] has groups like D&I that will have your back and offer support!”

Amanda: “Get involved with groups/things you are passionate about inside and outside of [Amergis]! It is so important to connect and make relationships with those in your community. Stand up for what you believe in and work to make a positive difference!”

Rachel: “I’d suggest the importance of self-advocacy and support networks. Let’s empower each other by amplifying our voices, advocating for our needs, and fostering a culture of mentorship and collaboration. Together, we can break barriers, inspire change, and achieve remarkable success in our careers.”

Cassidy: “Stay true to yourself and be adaptable, not just here at [Amergis], but in life in general!”

Come Make a Difference with the Amergis Healthcare Staffing Team

Amergis Staffing always has a wide range of available opportunities for people who are ready to accelerate their careers. We embrace employees from all different backgrounds and always strive to foster a welcoming work environment by following our core values of:

Learn how you can join the Amergis Staffing team by reaching out online today.

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