RI – Diversity in Recruitment Conference

RI – Diversity in Recruitment Conference

RBS’ Bishopsgate site provided the setting for what was due to be a thought provoking RI Diversity in Recruitment Conference.djj

The agenda had a variety of guest speakers including Rowena Ironside from Women on Boards UK, Natasha Clarke from Women in Recruitment and Sneha Khilay from Blue Tulip Training. Throughout the day a range of subjects were covered including age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion and disability in the workplace.

Rowena Ironside opened proceedings with the alarming facts that ‘men make up 95% of Executive Directors in the FTSE 100’ and in fact ‘there are more men called John in the FTSE 100 than there are women’.

Business in the UK has undoubtedly come a long way since the days Cambridge didn’t issue degrees to women, but there is clearly some way to go. Rowena’s argument, along with many of the other speakers focussed largely on the fact that a variety of people and a diverse workplace can only benefit companies as a whole. It was argued (with support from experiments and surveys) that a variety of IQs can prove more effective than a select few of the highest working together.

Another prevalent issue in the Recruitment industry is that of age. Findings from Age UK’s presenters Christopher Brooks and Kate Shoesmith, showed that companies are hiring less older people whilst the average retirement age is increasing. With some agencies and businesses unable to keep up with the demand for staff, it appears a huge pool of talent is somewhat being overlooked.

To summarise, an eye opening day with some excellent presentations.

We look forward to the next one!

Some other interesting facts and phrases from the day:

– ‘When recruiting, turn off the spotlight, turn on the floodlight (Rowena Ironside)
– 62% of gay people go back into the closet when they get their first job (Sarah Kirk – Page Group)
– ‘Recruit, retain, retrain’ – Age UK
– 1 in 4 are ‘not out’ at work, with over half ‘not out’ to their Manager (Simon Feeke, Stonewall)
– 1 in 5 candidates that come through your door will have a disability (RIDI/ Eversheds/ Guidant Group)
– A light hearted video on race by Ken Tamaka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWynJkN5HbQ (Sneha Khilay – Blue Tulip)

Stephen Farqhuar

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