Related Posts

Black people are underrepresented in the recruitment industry. Sadly, this is true of most business sectors, but the startlingly low number of black recruiters is particularly curious given that recruitment is an industry that prides itself on being a meritocracy. After all, anyone can succeed and progress in recruitment… right?

Wrong. In reality, it is not a level playing field, and therefore not everyone benefits from the same equity of opportunity to thrive and fulfil their potential. This can true for anyone who finds themselves in the minority at work. Happily, there are many initiatives and programmes in place to address ED&I in the workplace. Still, there has been nothing in place in the staffing sector to address Black recruiters' disproportionate underrepresentation specifically. Until now.

Making change happen. Together.

The Amoria Bond Group are proud to be a Founding member of Programme One, working together with like-minded companies to remove the barriers and inequalities preventing Black professionals from engaging and progressing in the recruitment sector.

Ten months after signing the Diversity and Inclusion Charter as Founding Partner Signatories, Programme One, is an important part of our broader D&I strategy to create a truly diverse and inclusive working environment for our employees and across the STEM sectors we serve. Having seen the positive impact of ASCEND on gender diversity within our business, the effectiveness of our employee-led Inclusion Advocates programme and the launch of initiatives such as religious bank holiday swaps, Programme One is a further step forward on our journey of action-led change.

What is Programme One?

Programme One is a collective of recruitment companies committed to working together to make workplace equality for Black talent within our industry a reality. Any organisation wanting to join Programme One commits to the following four strategic objectives:

  • To embed a Diversity, Inclusion and Respect strategy within their business.
  • To removing any barriers to hiring Black recruiters so that their organisation matches the Black representation in their local community.
  • Provide access to a mentor for every Black recruit hired.
  • To widen their talent attraction methods and techniques to attract more Black people to pursue a career in recruitment.

Why is collective action needed to address the underrepresentation of Black people?

Company Chair Gary Elden, OBE for services to Diversity in Business, recently spoke to the business about the origins of Programme One, why it is needed, and why everyone is responsible for addressing workplace inequality, regardless of our differences and backgrounds. It is a compelling message, and we really encourage you to watch here:

Will Programme One really make a difference?

In a public statement of support  endorsing Programme One, Baroness McGregor-Smith said:

"Programme One provides an important catalyst for change. Recruitment is the gateway to employment and recruiters hold the keys. The cultural and demographic change that Programme One can bring to recruitment will be instrumental in all our ambitions to ensure that every person, regardless of their ethnicity or background, is able to fulfil their potential at work. 

Programme One members are taking action to address workplace inequality for Black talent within the Recruitment Industry and they have my wholehearted support”.

How can we help your organisation become more inclusive, diverse and equitable?

Creating a truly inclusive working environment and culture isn't easy. It takes time, investment, and vulnerability – because failures and mistakes will happen along the way. No wonder so many organisations don't even try. Even those who set out with the very best of intentions often give up when things start to get uncomfortable, or KPI pressures kick in, and they revert to those practices they know and hire from the same old talent pools they know so well because it's simply easier and quicker. 

Programme One is a collective of like-minded companies who want to make a difference. We are not pretending to be perfect or have all the answers but committing publicly to steps we will take, sharing resources and best practice, and working together to make sustainable change happen across our industry. Join us, and you will get help and support to:

  • Build a Diversity & Inclusion strategy if you do not currently have one
  • Understand bias within your business and hiring practices
  • Create an inclusive culture and working environment
  • Provide resources to educate you on Black contribution to culture and history
  • Understand why and how to run a meaningful internal Diversity and Inclusion survey
  • Understand the black representation in your local community
  • Provide access to an effective external mentoring programme and expert-led mentor training
  • Widen and develop an understanding of how to access wider talent pools.

What is the future for Black talent in recruitment? 

Impact and longevity will judge the 'success' of Programme One, starting with measurable, sustained proportionate representation of Black people within the recruitment & staffing industry. It's not enough to simply attracting more Black professionals to work in the recruitment industry; the progression and representation of Black people at all levels right the way through to Executive Boards is crucial and will create the role models of tomorrow. That's why the mentoring partnership with the Aleto Foundation is such an essential part of Programme One.

'Diversity' needs to become the norm, not the exception, at all levels, and across all sectors. Recruitment companies are in a uniquely influential position because of our touch-points with other industries and the ability we have to influence hiring practices and accelerate change for our clients and candidates. But we MUST walk the walk and get our own house in order, and Programme One is a step towards that. 

Programme One has the potential to make a huge impact, which is undeniably exciting. But like everything, it relies on all members taking real action and not just talking a good game. Some of the conversations won't be easy, some of the actions might be uncomfortable, but real positive change demands some discomfort. So, it's encouraging that recruitment companies are supporting each other to make change happen. 

Discover more about Programme One and how to become a member by visiting the website, or reach out to me directly on LinkedIn or via email to find out more about E,D&I at Amoria Bond.

It's time for change. Let's make it happen. Together. 

Natasha Crump, ESG Director

Amoria Bond: Progressing Lives Everywhere