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Recruiters can make a difference to get more women on boards

Recruiters can make a difference to get more women on boards

In the run up to International Women’s Day this Friday the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) polled 200 UK employers about attitudes to gender balance in the board room. The survey  revealed that half (52 per cent) of people with influence over the hiring decisions in their organisations, including Managing Directors, HR Managers and HR Directors, thought gender diversity in senior management was important.

However 56 per cent affirmed that gender diversity at senior levels was a priority in their own company and a similar proportion (57 per cent) denied that gender balance was downgraded to less of a priority during a recession.

The REC’s director of policy Tom Hadley said: “Although some employers are taking proper consideration of gender diversity at senior levels, many are still failing to take the issue sufficiently seriously. Unfortunately, this confirms the feedback we get from recruiters that we still have a long way to go to get many organisations to consider it a genuine priority.

“Recruiters, especially at the executive search level, can play a crucial role in delivering change by working with candidates and employers to design job specifications and raise awareness of the business benefits of gender diversity and flexible working.”

On Wednesday, the REC held a roundtable for its Association of Executive Recruiters (AER) called & lsquo;Recruiting for the Boardroom: Improving gender diversity in the UK’ to gauge member views and launch a new programme of work on the issue of women on boards.

The survey results in full:

Do you think gender diversity in senior management is important?

No     48%

Yes     52%

Is gender diversity in senior management a priority for your company?

No     44%

Yes     56%

Is gender diversity in senior management less of a priority in times of recession?

No     57%

Yes     43%

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