Experts call on recruitment firms to address the gender imbalance at board level.

Board level change needed.

According to the latest analysis from recruitment and talent management PR and communications specialist, BlueSky PR, just 26 per cent of recruitment firm directors are female – highlighting the severe gender imbalance in the sector.

The firm’s analysis of the gender imbalance at the top of recruitment firms across the UK, EMEA, APAC and the US for International Women’s Day has revealed that the recruitment sector has less gender equality at the top compared to the boards of Britain’s large public companies – the businesses that they aim to shake up and create more diversity in.

“It’s a shame to see that there is still such a gender imbalance at the top in the recruitment industry, particularly as these are the individuals that should be guiding businesses in regards to diversity and inclusion and helping them attract from more diverse groups,” said head of practice at BlueSky PR, Vickie Collinge. “While there has been significant improvement over the years, and the number of female directors in recruitment firms is certainly increasing, there is still so much left to do. Creating more diverse and inclusive workforces is a growing priority amongst agencies and in order for talent acquisition teams to be seen as true advisory consultants, they must be able to lead by example.

“International Women’s Day is a time to not only create more awareness about the ongoing issue of a lack of female representation at board level in businesses and the severe gender-pay-gap, but also showcase some of the leading females working in the recruitment arena,” she added.

Ann Swain, CEO of The Association of Professional Staffing Companies commented: “There’s a clear disparity of gender balance at board level in recruitment that needs to be addressed – particularly when we consider that around 41 per cent of the workforce at recruiter level is female. However, despite there being a clear progression challenge for women in recruitment, just 31 per cent of companies have initiatives in place to retain females.

“APSCo supports the Women in Recruitment initiative to assist the development of female recruiters and ensure they have access to the same career opportunities as their male counterparts,” she said. “We have just launched a benchmarking survey to build a more accurate picture of the current workforce that we hope will act as a catalyst for change.”

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