Maria Hvorostovsky connects extraordinary talent with exceptional opportunities. HVO Search, the company she founded in 2012, has clients that include Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Deloitte, JW Anderson and Quiksilver. She is passionate about female entrepreneurs and is one of the voices behind the Women-Supporting-Women movement, which champions the support of successful businesswomen to their successors.

Steps To The Top: 5

Notetaker, Nottingham Trent University - Sales Assistant, Sefton - Researcher, The MBS Group - Consultant, 24 Seven - Founder, HVO Search 

Why do women in business rock? I come from a family of women who have worked. My Siberian grandmother was an accountant after moving on from her job driving a crane on a building site. My mother was a ballet dancer, plus two of the companies I worked at before founding HVO Search were run by women. All these women have been a huge inspiration to me - they gave me the confidence to go it alone.

What are the five best things about your job? The People: my work is filled with amazing, talented people who are making the world a more interesting place. The Travel: I am always on an aeroplane visiting new places. The Stories: listening to other people’s experiences helps me to understand the challenges, failures and triumphs that we all face at work. The Opportunities: the world is full of amazing employees; I love helping clients find the key executive who will lead them to success and it is just as thrilling giving candidates the opportunity that they’ve been dreaming about. The Influence: there is a thrill to being able to make a difference, and being at the heart of that change. What could be better than making someone’s fantasy career become a reality?

Early mornings, do you love them? Do you loathe them? Right now, I set my alarm to 6:30am, drink hot water with fresh lemon and go to a spin class or stretch at home on my yoga mat. I have a generous breakfast and then I think about what I want to achieve in the day whilst I shower and get ready. At my desk, I read the news, tweet, tackle urgent emails and then start with the most important projects. I try not to get too stuck on reading emails all day, as they can be a distraction. In my opinion, the mornings are about being productive and getting the bulk of important, but not always the most pressing, projects done.

Tell us about your role models. Wow, there are so many. Julie Meyer is undoubtedly one. She is incredibly smart, has set up various businesses and supports the entrepreneurial community. She talks about playing to your strengths, which has been invaluable advice. I also think Angela Ahrendts is amazing, but apparently she only sleeps 5 hours a night, which I will never be able to do even with the help of the Apple Watch. Ariana Huffington is an inspiration because she believes in a healthy life balance and is not afraid of her femininity.

Maria’s downtime: is it digital or non-digital? When it’s proper downtime I put my devices down, go out and be part of the real world. Sitting under a tree and reading a book can be very therapeutic. I do cheat and read on my iPad sometimes; I enjoy Porter magazine, The Sunday Times and The Economist. Oh and Instagram is hands down my favourite social media!


Photograph by Svetlana Masterova