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Standing room only at APSCo Women in Recruitment launch

The initiative aims to support women in the recruitment sector to achieve their full potential and assist recruitment firms to make the most of the female talent in their business.

The programme will be underpinned by academic research undertaken by Westminster Business School. The research – the results of which are expected at the end of June, is designed to understand the reasons why talented women leave recruitment firms.

WIR will be overseen by an executive committee chaired by Natasha Clarke, Managing Partner of SThree who gave an inspiring presentation explaining why the retention of women mattered so much at SThree: “We knew that women were statistically better billers, we needed a talent pool for growth – but female churn was high and we knew that diversity was important to our customers.” SThree embarked on a major programme to change this and has now achieved parity of female and male churn and an 80% return rate from maternity leave.

There was also a fascinating presentation from Lindsey Clay, the CEO of Thinkbox and the Vice President of Women in Advertising & Communications London – an organisation that was founded in the 1920s. And in Manchester, Parity’s Head of Client Solutions, Vivien Weldon talked about understanding the female talent pipeline and establishing an enabling culture.

 “This isn’t a tick boxing exercise – there is a clear business case for developing and retaining more women in our profession,” said Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo and member of the WIR Executive Committee. Our talent pipeline continues to leak women – often at a time when they can add most value to the business.”

Women in Recruitment will offer mentoring, personal development and networking, the content of which will be informed by the results of the research, with both company and individual membership available.

“Our call to action is clear”, added Swain. “We need all recruitment trade associations, bodies and networks to support this initiative – and in fact the online professional development offering will be delivered in partnership with the IOR. Additionally we are being supported by Squire Patton Boggs which has a Women’s Enterprise Group and Barclays which operates Women’s initiative networks.  This is a fantastic opportunity and one which will not be limited to APSCo members.  We have made a great start as there was unanimous support at the event in terms of an interest in getting involved.”

Any recruitment firm or individual wanting to feed into the academic research should visit


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