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International Women’s Day: Recruitment profession must be a ‘beacon of excellence’ for gender equality in the workplace

Women in Recruitment (WIR), an Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) initiative, this week hosted a series of events across the UK to not only celebrate female talent within the recruitment profession, but also explore the sector’s role in boosting gender equality throughout the wider workforce.

The meetings - which were held in London, Birmingham and Manchester and kindly sponsored by NatWest - featured insight from some of the profession’s most influential female leaders including: Kathryn Riley, Managing Director at Douglas Scott, Wendy Merricks, CEO and Founder of Jumar Solutions and Angela Middleton, CEO and Chairman of Middleton Murray. Attendees to all three events also enjoyed a networking lunch as well as panel discussions which covered themes on female leadership and advice for women in business on how to overcome hurdles in recruitment.

The aim of the events was to offer a voice of encouragement and partnership to women. Panellists were asked various questions on their motivations, what they have learnt through their profession and advice they would give to women in recruitment, providing attendees with a brilliant insight into how to progress with their careers and positively influence others.

Previous research from Women in recruitment and Westminster Business School has found that up to 66% of females working in recruitment believe that family and caring responsibilities can negatively impact on talented women’s promotion and career prospects. Other perceived contributing factors included lack of confidence (40%) and an ‘old boy’ network-style atmosphere (41%).

Women in Recruitment was formed to give all recruitment firms practical support in attracting, developing and retaining their female talent, as well as providing a tangible demonstration of a commitment to gender equality for clients and candidates.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo and WIR Executive Committee Member, comments:

“Our profession has been built on the tenacity, strength and expertise of a myriad of female recruitment professionals. However, our pipelines continue to leak this precious talent, often at a time when these women can add the most value.

“A theme which ran through all this week’s events is the power of female leadership and the need to ensure effective succession planning for women in recruitment, whether this be for mothers or those planning time away. Strategies must be in place to sustain communication and management and flexibility are the key ingredients to guide and empower women to continue their roles.”

“With over 200 delegates attending across all three events, the turnout was outstanding, and I’d like to thank the amazing speakers and panellists who joined us on the day. I’m sure those who attended will agree they are truly inspirational. It is clear that we have a responsibility to establish the recruitment profession as a ‘beacon of excellence’ for gender equality, so that we are able to disseminate best practice throughout the wider workforce – and the stories shared at these events will do doubt help us to achieve this.”

- Ends

Notes to editors:

About women in recruitment

Women in Recruitment was formed to give all recruitment firms practical support in attracting, developing and retaining their female talent, as well as providing a tangible demonstration of a commitment to gender equality for clients and candidates. It gives individuals access to unique development tools, mentoring and networking opportunities designed to support successful and sustainable careers in recruitment. Company Membership is open to all UK recruitment firms. Individuals can join Women in Recruitment independently, or as employees of Company Members.

Women in Recruitment is an APSCo (Association of Professional Staffing Companies) initiative, supported by REC and other stakeholders across the recruitment sector and sponsored by Barclays plc and Squire Patton Boggs. Our overall goal is simple – to inform, advise and assist organisations in understanding the business opportunities associated with gender equality, and establish the recruitment profession as a brand of excellence in diversity and inclusion practices.

For more information visit http://womeninrecruitment.org/

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