Pioneer Profile: Meet Lauren Spearman

19th Feb 2024

It’s time that we recognise the people behind the evolving world of work. Our working lives have shifted to being more inclusive, more people-centric, more flexible, and just plain better for both employees and companies. 

These changes didn’t just happen: they were put into place and upheld by individuals and teams working to create a better working future for everyone. 

So we’re finally putting the spotlight on the people who make great companies great: the people-people.  

People-people are crucial to the success of every company. They find you the talent that drives you forwards, and they’ve taken on an increasingly strategic role in the past few years – often taking on responsibility for mental health, diversity and inclusion, culture, EVPs, Employer Branding and team happiness. 

Read more about the Pioneers List and go behind the scenes to understand how and why we’ve selected our Pioneers.

We’re delighted to introduce you to Lauren Spearman, Salary Transparency Advocate and Creative Director, and one of our 2024 Pioneers. Read on to hear all about her career, her experiences with flexible working and building great company cultures, and her hopes for the future of work.

Let’s dig in! 

Tell us a little bit about your career history, and how you got to where you are now. What were the key milestones?

I started my career at Sky in advertising & remained publisher side in various sales roles for 9 years before moving in house brand side at Benefit Cosmetics. After three years talking about eyebrows I followed my heart into the world of interiors &  headed up all things social, comms & influencers at MADE for three years, before a short stint at pet insurtech ManyPets. I’m now discovering the joy of freelance life as a Creative Director & Brand Strategist. Outside of work I’m a lover of all things design, architecture & small plates and whether work or pleasure I always try to lead with uplifting honesty. 

When did you become interested in flexible working, EVPs, Employer Brand, and the future of work?

I left a permanent role in April 2023 with no plan B, and was thrown into a chaotic job market where I didn’t feel like employers were treating candidates with respect. I started documenting these concerning practices on TikTok in Sept 2023. Lack of salary transparency. No candidate feedback. Unrealistic interview tasks. Badly written job descriptions. Ghosting. You name it, I experienced it. And it turns out I wasn't alone in this.
What has since unravelled is a passion for wanting to make the workplace a better place & a call to employers to look at their own candidate experience for hiring processes as well as a call for pay transparency. 

I’m a brand marketer by background, so I know a company is only as good as it’s perception, and that’s why I so strongly believe that employer brand shouldn’t be neglected. I feel like I’m just scratching the surface of a new interest!

What’s the biggest impact flexible working has had on your own life?

Right now my little sister is receiving chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with cancer in October. I can not begin to explain just how fortunate I am to have a work set up where not only can I spend time with her; caring for her on chemo days or taking her to hospital appointments where needed, but to be able to do that & not have to feel guilty or that I have to ask for permission. I make work work for me, and in return that flexibility drives my ambition as I want to deliver even more for my clients. 

What's the biggest challenge of being in your role right now?

Pay transparency. Or lack of it. I am hugely passionate about educating companies on the benefits, and importance, of this. 

Businesses that share salary bands when recruiting are seen favourably as it says a lot about the transparency, engagement & culture of the company. It’s a demonstration of them having their ducks in a row internally, and that value is really attractive to prospective talent. It’s also hugely beneficial in the quest to close the gender pay gap by addressing potential discrepancies which could be discriminatory. This sign of trustworthiness has a knock on effect for employer branding & even appeal to customers too. 

What do you think the next big trend is in working culture?

I believe (and hope) we’ll start to see the increase in both supply & demand of part time roles. There is still a lot of stigma around part time work, but the benefits are huge, both economically & sociologically, & could really up the pool of available talent; especially those with caring responsibilities, a disability or other health conditions).

I personally aim to work 4 days a week, and I’m finding that flexibility has worked wonders for my mental health & helped at work too. I use my Fridays to visit museums & galleries; filling up my cup of cultural creativity, and in turn I feel better rested & able to give my work the energy it needs. 

Take a look at the other Pioneers who made the list, and subscribe to our newsletter to get updates on new Pioneers, guides to help you navigate your strategic role, and exclusive invites to webinars and events