30% of recruitment firms have less than 5% female leaders at board level

Businesswomen at an evening meeting in a boardroom, women on boards, recruitment

Almost a third (30 per cent) of recruitment firms have less than five per cent female leaders at board level, and another third (32 per cent), only have between 21-50 per cent.

These are the findings of Women in Recruitment, who analysed female representation within the profession. Women in Recruitment’s new benchmarking report reveals that representation at board level is in single digits for many firms, despite 70 per cent of recruitment companies having more than 50 per cent female representation at support staff level; and two-fifths having more than 50 per cent at recruitment/resourcer level.

Just 26 per cent of respondents said that they had specific initiatives aimed at retaining women in the workplace, which included being part of initiatives such as Women in Recruitment; family friendly policies; working around school hours and female role models and mentors.

While over 80 per cent of recruitment firms offer some form of flexible working, ranging from remote working from home arrangements, part time and flexible hours and job shares, less than a quarter offer any form of enhanced maternity benefits.

Speaking about the analysis, Julie Selby, Director of Women in Recruitment, said, “For firms working to improve gender equality within their organisations, measuring progress is, of course, crucial.”

“Benchmarking success against your contemporaries however, is arguably an even more powerful catalyst for driving change.”

“This initial report is the first stage in building an accurate picture of what our workforces look like today, and then to track progress both within our own organisation and across the entire sector.”

“Increasing female representation at board level, and throughout the company, is not only the ‘right’ thing to do, it also makes complete business sense.”

“This creates teams which have greater diversity in thought which can allow targets to be reached with creativity and more efficiency.”

“However, despite numerous studies showing the correlation between compaines with a larger proportion of female directors and better business outcomes, figures show that many of the UK’s top firms are nowhere near the Hampton-Alexander Review‘s target of a third of board-level and leadershop positions to be filled by women.”


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Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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