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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Our work on diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion

Ornella  Nsio avatar

Written by Ornella Nsio Stakeholder engagement manager

Diversity in the workplace

Everyone should be able to pursue their chosen career, regardless of their background.

We lead and support programmes which help people from under-represented groups to progress in the workplace.

We provide REC members with opportunities to get involved in projects which increase social mobility, focusing on areas including the progression of low paid workers, disability employment, older workers and women in the workplace.

To find out more about our work on diversity and inclusion and how you can get involved, please get in touch

Women in work

While the female employment rate continues to rise, there remain challenges when it comes to women's entry, re-entry and progression in the labour market.

We are committed to tackling barriers and improving women's participation in the labour market. We’ve partnered with the Women and Work APPG to share our expertise on hiring strategies and to support the drive to improve women’s experiences in employment.

The gender pay gap is a stark reminder of the challenges that remain. We'll continuing to provide members with advice through our legal guide on these requirements and how they can use this data to drive change. ​​​

Our 2018 report Increasing opportunity, supporting growth is a how to guide on embracing best practice and promoting gender equality in the workplace.

Find out more

Ethnic diversity in business

While progress has been made in recent years, ethnic diversity - in all walks of life - still lags. Baroness McGregor-Smith’s review into race in the workplace and Sir John Parker’s review into ethnic diversity on boards highlight just some of the challenges. For example: 

  • The employment rate for ethnic minorities is only 62.8% compared with an employment rate for White workers of 72.6%. 
  • All BME groups are more likely to be overqualified than White ethnic groups but White employees are more likely to be promoted than all other groups.
  • 53 out of the FTSE 100 companies do not have any directors from a BME background. 

We are committed to working with both review teams to implement their recommendations and to ensure the recruitment industry is at the forefront of this agenda.

Disability employment

In 2016 the Government launched their Disability Confident scheme here at the REC and we're keen to raise awareness of our industry's contribution. We’re encouraging recruiters to sign up to the scheme and to promote the business and societal benefits of disability employment.

The aim of Disability Confident is to create a movement for change - getting employers to think differently about disability and how they attract, recruit and retain disabled workers.

Find out more

Low paid workers

Working in a low-paid job can open up opportunities to progress by providing experience and development.

We’ve produced reports into the challenges faced by the people in these jobs, revealing that many workers believe that employers and Jobcentres need to provide better guidance about how to progress. Recruiters can provide the expertise and advice to support low paid workers to get on in life.

Find out more

Criminal records     

People with criminal records often have to deal with barriers when trying to find a job, which can prevent them from progressing.

In some instances, this is due to rules laid out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act which employers must abide by. But in other cases, these barriers may be because of poor hiring processes.

It’s essential that all those involved in the recruitment process know their legal obligations and ensure their policies give all candidates the chance to succeed regardless of their background. Businesses cannot afford to discount the 11 million people in the UK who have a criminal record.

The REC has signed up to Business in the Community’s (BITC) Ban the Box campaign, committing to fair recruitment for people with criminal records.

Older workers and the recruitment industry

Employers need to adapt to working with an ageing population.

UK employers need to fill 13.5 million vacancies over the next ten years, and only 7 million young people will leave education over the same period.

Without the input from older workers, there will be less growth in the economy in the future.

Recruiters have a vital role in highlighting the many benefits that older workers bring to organisations, and many of our members run programmes to encouraging older candidates to apply to vacancies.

Being a member of the REC means being amongst the best.

Representing a network of more than 3,300 recruitment businesses and 10,500 individual recruiters gives us a unique insight that can help you grow.