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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Lead

Olga's picture

Dr Olga Frańczak joined the REC in March 2022 as our first EDI Programme Lead. 

Olga works across all departments, from campaigns to product development, including internal EDI support and advice with the HR team. This work ensures that EDI is at the core of everything we do for our members, as well as staff.

Olga has been working on equality issues since 2011. She has worked in international organisations, charities, universities, and private firms in the UK and abroad. Her experience includes working with survivors of hate crimes and gender-based violence. 

Olga has a master’s degree in law. In 2021, she received a PhD on gender stereotypes from a human rights perspective. 

Get in touch with Olga:

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How to improve Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Our EDI Committee is a staff group which works closely with the EDI Programme Lead, Head of Delivery and HR to ensure that the REC is a safe, empowering, and inclusive place to work. The group provides feedback and makes recommendations for change to ensure that the REC strives for best practice around EDI.

Mental Health First Aiders 

At the REC we understand that equality, diversity, and inclusion are closely tied to mental health and wellbeing. Our Mental Health First Aiders are staff members trained in providing initial mental health support where needed. Visit our Mental Health Hub for more.

What's new 

Talking Recruitment Podcasts on EDI

Listen to all Talking Recruitment Podcasts.

Episode 2 (2023): What does it take to become a neuroinclusive recruiter?

Our recent research in partnership with neurodivergent training experts Uptimize revealed some astonishing findings about the state of neuroinclusive recruitment in the UK. We surveyed REC members to understand the level of awareness of neuroinclusive recruitment practices within organisations. Here are some key findings:

  • Only 30% of recruiters in our study have knowingly placed neurodivergent candidates.
  • Almost 80% of respondents said they had received no training on neuroinclusive recruitment and only 20% understood how to conduct a neuroinclusive interview.
  • 70% of recruiters believe there is high potential in untapped neurodiverse talent pool.

So, what does it take to become a neuroinclusive recruiter? What practical steps can leaders take to drive the movement? We spoke to Ed Thompson, CEO of Uptimize to guide us through this unexplored area of recruitment which could hold the key to tackling the ongoing skills shortages. 

Episode 19 (2022): Championing inclusive recruitment during times of skills shortages

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) isn't a corporate craze that'll disappear in a few years. What can be missing is not realising the commercial benefits of being a truly diverse and inclusive organisation. Being an inclusive organisation improves your desirability as an employer which is crucial to talent attraction and retention.

Who better to explain the impact of EDI in talent attraction and recruitment than Nicola Inge, Employment & Skills Director from BITC? Nicola led the 'Opening Doors' campaign which puts inclusive recruitment at its heart. As an Opening Doors Employer, Hayley Tatum, Chief People and Corporate Affairs Officer from Asda, also joins us to share what actions they are taking to address the skills challenges and the work they're doing on EDI.

Tune into this episode to hear about:

  • How can businesses attract and recruit talent in a tight labour market, with an eye on EDI?
  • What can businesses do to ensure they have the skills needed for the future?
  • What actions has ASDA taken or committed to address these challenges?
  • What new actions or approaches we are seeing from businesses in inclusive recruitment?

Episode 17 (2022): Shaping your EDI strategy for 2023 and beyond

The theme for Black History Month this year is 'time for change: Action not words'. We were joined by Adeife Onwuzulike, Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion Director of Euromonitor International to talk about how recruitment businesses can champion this change by building strong partnerships with their clients and by acting as champions of inclusion in recruitment.

In this thought-provoking discussion, Adeife and Neil will take you through:

  • A recap of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in recruitment
  • EDI forecasts for 2023
  • How are recruiters and employers working together to ensure that middle to senior-level shortlists are truly diverse?
  • What recruiters and employers need to be adopting in 2023 and the impact of investors like Legal and General on organisations in ensuring a diverse pipeline
  • What does a truly inclusive recruitment practice look like from an employer and recruiter perspective?
  • What quality controls are in place to ensure that inclusion is a “part of” and not an “add on”?

Episode 16 (2022): How to promote more inclusive recruitment practices as an industry

Recruiters are in a powerful position to influence businesses on their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion positioning and advise on practical ways to deploy successful EDI strategies. We spoke to our EDI Ambassador and Founder of Harper Fox Search Partners, Scarlett Allen-Horton, to understand what it takes to drive a successful EDI strategy.

Tune into hear:

  • An overview of the importance of inclusive recruitment practices
  • How recruitment leaders can embrace EDI within their own businesses
  • How to push back when clients are non-inclusive
  • What can we do as an industry to educate clients?

Episode 14 (2022): Inclusive recruitment: Narrowing the disability employment gap

We've got to get better at drawing people into work from some of the backgrounds where employment rates are not as high as they should be. One longstanding issue is that our disability employment rate is much lower than we'd all like it to be. What can we, as an industry, do to narrow the disability employment gap?

Hear Kate Headley, Director of The Clear Company, as she takes us through the role of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) and her mission as the UK Government's Disability & Access Ambassador for the Recruitment Industry in the latest episode of our podcast. You'll hear about:

  • Why Equality, Diversity & Inclusion – specifically relating to disability - means so much to Kate
  • Her ambitions for her government-appointed role as Disability and Access Ambassador for recruitment
  • The role of recruiters when it comes to fair and ethical recruitment of people with disabilities
  • How recruiters can work with clients and support candidates from a range of backgrounds#What companies like Page Group and FCA are doing to promote disability employment
  • What changes need to be made to internal hiring and people development strategies.

Episode 24 (2021): Paving the way for organisations to be more inclusive, diverse and influential in our sector

In this episode, our CEO Neil Carberry interviews Amanda Fone, Founder & CEO at f1 Recruitment. They discuss managing social change for clients, championing hybrid working for flexibility and equal work life balance, and diversifying the talent pool used to recruit candidates.

In this episode, tune in to hear:

  • How to incorporate diversity into your business and retain talent
  • Empowering business decisions that can change lack of social representation in the marketing, communications and sports sectors
  • The importance of influencing young people at an early stage to join a marketing and comms career

Episode 17 (2021): A guide to making equality, diversity and inclusion an integral part of your business

Listen to our latest episode of the Talking Recruitment podcast, as our Chief Executive Neil Carberry is joined by Nicki Pritchard. They discuss the overall direction of ED&I and the commitment that Senior Leaders need to have towards this integral part of the business and how to attract the best talent.

In this episode, tune in to hear:

  • How you can make ED&I a core value in your company, the wider business strategy, and how to attract and retain staff
  • How to empower staff members about what they bring to the organisation
  • Ways to support your clients and find out what their objectives are in order to help them achieve their goals.

Episode 7 (2021): How can we improve D&I in the recruitment industry

Joanne Lockwood, founder and CEO of SEE Change Happen, joins Neil Carberry to discuss our industry's role in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. You'll hear about practical steps that your business can take to enable D&I, and to drive the UK’s productivity.

Tune in to hear:

  • How we can be more diverse and inclusive as an industry and as employers
  • The importance of tackling and mitigating bias in the recruitment process
  • Potentially changing the selection process, ditching CVs as a primary source of evidence, anonymising candidates and using objective based tasks