Mum’s the Word

Mum’s the Word

15 May 08:00 by Nicola Crocco


As she returned to her desk with a cup of tea last week, Lisa Canning declared to anyone listening, “I spent most of my youth actively trying NOT to be like my mother.” She sighed. “But I can’t fight it anymore…I am EXACTLY like my mother.” She laughed. We laughed. Then, things went quiet. “My values, the way I think, the way I talk, walk, the way I am at work and at home….so much of it comes from my mum.”

It’s so true. Our mothers show-up regularly in our daily lives. Particularly in recruitment, where our business is people, our mothers’ teachings are put into practice each and every day.

In homage to our beloved mothers, we’ve been reflecting on the lessons and values our mums have taught us, that we always carry with us. We’ll leave it to you to decide which People Equity team member is the spitting image of their mother! 

Lisa Canning


Lisa’s mum taught her that the response you get from a smile makes you smile even deeper.

Lisa’s been in the recruitment game for a long-time, and to this day, she will smile before she answers her phone and she will smile as she gets into the lift to greet a candidate or client. She finds that a smile will almost always prompt a positive response and make everyone involved feel uplifted.

Gabby Symons

“It’s the giving of yourself that matters”

Gabby’s mum taught her that it’s giving that counts most; the giving of her time, her care, her presence and her thoughtfulness.

This is the cornerstone of People Equity and very much a reflection of how Gabby has been brought up. Unselfishly giving time, being caring and kind, present and thoughtful are some of the most essential qualities that any person must have to be a part of the People Equity team. When we are focused on giving – this is where the magic happens. It’s fair to say that Gabby has built a very successful business based on her mother’s example.

Simon Ginsberg

“A little and often”

Simon’s mum taught him to prevent things from getting out of control by always doing something small and often, now. Simon will never go to bed with a sink full of dishes and he’s very friendly with the vacuum cleaner.

As a recruiter, this has taught him to be well organised. With interviews here, there and everywhere, he always likes to make sure everyone has as much information as possible, well in advance. He will never leave important things to the last minute. Why do it tomorrow when you can do it quickly now?

Melissa Cavanagh

“Learn from the people around you”

Sadly, Mel’s mum passed away when she was a small child, so Mel has learnt the importance of leaning on different women around her to teach her things as she’s gone through life. She is a beautiful mother of nearly two children (her bump gets bigger by the day) and has many wonderful women in her life to look to for advice, when needed.

This plays out in Mel’s professional life in that she always watching and listening to those around her, taking every opportunity to build on what she already knows or approach something in a different way. In her daily interactions with clients and candidates, she is always seeking to understand more. It’s no wonder she’s so good at interviewing! 

Rebecca Nickless

“Quality over quantity”

Rebecca’s mum was ahead of her time in terms of sustainable thinking and mindfulness.  She taught Rebecca the importance of saving for a better quality item so that it doesn’t need to be replaced and lasts the distance. Equally, her mum taught her that it’s the quality of your relationships and interactions with people that count in life, versus the ‘stuff and things’ you have around you.

Rebecca’s approach as a recruiter is highly reflective of this outlook. She will partner with her clients to help them understand the value of investing in the right calibre of candidate and the impact that this will have on their business. Rebecca’s long-term, strategic approach to sourcing talent has benefitted many organisations over the course of her career.

Nicola Crocco

 “A spade is a spade”

Nicola’s mum taught her to look for the truth of a person or situation. Looking past exterior and surface level characteristics will reveal the true essence of a person’s character or circumstance, and that’s what really matters. This lesson has also taught her to face people and situations for what they are, versus what she hopes or wishes they could be.

Seeking truth in people makes her a recruiter who will spend a great deal of time working with candidates and clients to truly understand them and their needs. Her inquisitive nature is driven by her need to get to the heart of a person or situation. She also operates with honesty and integrity in the way she communicates and provides feedback, being candid so that people can grow from their experiences.      

We think we are all better people for the influence of our mothers. Thank you to them. So…which apple do you think falls closest to the tree?