Takeaways from the Binc Summit that Sparked Joy!

Three weeks ago, 150+ Binc employees, clients, and partners, from all over the country, flew to Las Vegas to attend the Binc Summit. The mission of the Summit was to provide an opportunity for us to connect, grow, inspire, appreciate, and learn so we can continue the journey of being and becoming our best selves.

I've attended many conferences, workshops, trainings, and corporate events but this experience was different. I was able to connect, grow, inspire, appreciate, and learn. Those promises were well-delivered upon and I am thankful for that. What set the Summit apart from other conferences I've attended was the number of times the conference sparked joy. If you are unfamiliar with the meaning "spark joy", it's a term Marie Kondo uses as a way to determine if an item you are holding onto has meaning. In this case, the conference is not a physical item that I can hold and ask myself "does this spark joy?". However, I believe that the time, energy, and resources you put into your career can spark joy too. Curious to learn about what sparks joy in my career? Continue scrolling, as I've shared my favorite takeaways from the Binc Summit that sparked joy.

"50 Ways to Fight Gender Bias" 

sparked joy.

When striving to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, having initiatives in place to overcome bias is important but often not implemented. Throughout my career, I have been exposed to all types of bias' when working with candidates, hiring managers, and interview teams, both conscious and unconscious. The easiest bias' to overcome are the ones that are conscious, the hardest ones are unconscious. Furthermore, bias can be specific to one aspect of someone's identify such as gender or bias can be compounded from gender to sexuality, age, education, religion, and more. Ultimately, I've learned that bias is one (of many) roadblocks to hiring, promoting and retaining talent.

After seeing this gap in the workplace, I became motivated to better understand bias in the workplace, find tools, and implement best practices that support more equality. There have been times in my career where I've made real progress on this and other times I haven't been able to make the impacts I desire. Luckily, I am not alone in this fight. There are many great leaders, organizations, workplaces, and individuals who are making progress in these areas and have dedicated their careers to solving inequalities in the workplace. Lean In is one of those organizations and Binc had the pleasure of hosting Raena Saddley and Archana Gilravi at the Binc Summit to share with their research, tools, and resources that are being used to fight gender bias. This topic sparked joy.


  • Did you know that women are still outnumbered in the workplace by men at every level? The data shows that women are doing what it takes to qualify for the same opportunities as men but men are still hired at a higher percentage into entry level roles.

  • We have a lot work to do to in order to make our workplaces more equitable and gender diverse.

  • It's important to acknowledge the progress we've made. However, progress doesn't give us the excuse to say "This is good enough". Having a few women representatives on a leadership team doesn't mean that women are well-represented.

  • My passion for equality matters and I can make a difference.

  • On the other hand, I can not do this alone. Businesses need to prioritize gender diversity. It's not enough to say you want to have a more gender diverse workplace. Priorities, strategies, accountabilities, and actions matter.

  • If you are in HR, Talent, or a Leadership position, your role is critical to changing this pattern. The 2018 Women in Workplace Report calls attention to two drivers that impact these numbers, hiring and promoting. By not addressing gender bias', it will make it more difficult to hire or promote women. 

Interested in learning more? Visit leanin.org/50ways

"Seeing Recruiting Through the Lens of the Business" 

sparked joy.

Early in my recruiting career, I viewed the recruiting business as support service. I found it to be fulfilling but I didn't see it providing long term career opportunities. I enjoyed supporting the business in achieving the growth plans but eventually my goal was to transition into an HR business partner role. To be honest, I viewed that to be more strategic. As my career in recruiting evolved, I began to see recruiting as opportunity to be strategic and I became confident that it would provide me a fulfilling career. Additionally, I have been blessed to work with leaders that share those same values. These leaders honored my work as a strategic partner and held me to that standard.

Recently, I've noticed that the recruiting as a strategic business role is still a relatively new concept. There are many business and recruiters who have yet and may never adapt to this methodology. Attending the session, "Seeing Recruiting Through the Lens of the Business" reminded me of this value of the business I work in and that of course, sparked joy.


  • As consultants, we really need to think, act, and believe that recruiting is transformational. Recruiting is not transactional (even if your clients may think so).

  • In fact, Saki Kravitz (and I) would argue that we need to come up with a new title that truly represents the role that in- house recruiters or consultants provide for the business. How about Talent Strategy Partner, Talent Business Partner, or Talent Consulting Partner?

  • In order for recruiting to be a high performing business, there needs to be infrastructure. Spend the time on processes, workflows, and optimization. Plus, building infrastructure gives you ownership and provides value to your clients and candidates.

  • Make the work you do fun- for you and your business partners. It's not uncommon for lines of business to have a culture or a brand that is unique to them. Your brand can attract other lines of businesses to work with you. Saki shared a few ideas on how she makes working with the recruiting business fun. For example, I loved her suggestion of naming her playbooks after influential women. I'm excited to build a brand for the work that we do as consultants and to create a brand for myself that includes a little bit of fun! :)

All in all, the Binc Summit reinforced my passions, career aspirations, and reminded me of what sparks joy in my career.

Marissa Smith