Sector Overview

Recruitment companies work with a huge range of other sectors to provide support attracting and hiring talented employees. It’s a varied industry where many firms have sector specialisms – from finance and management to construction and education. Much of the work is centred around developing strong relationships with clients and building your company’s reputation to attract and retain clients.

The recruitment industry is starting to look specifically at how they can support clients to attract LGBT candidates, with specialist recruitment sites like Stonewall’s own Proud Employers in increasing demand.

In 2018 we saw the first recruitment company enter our Top 100 Employers and more engagement than ever before from the sector. This demonstrates an increased commitment from recruitment companies to provide inclusive environments in which LGBT staff and job seekers can thrive.

There was not enough data to provide index statistics for this sector.

In Focus

Recruitment - Donna

Donna Witten, Senior Consultant, PageGroup

How did you come to work in recruitment and what does your current job involve?

I qualified as a lawyer in South Africa and worked in the industry for three years. I joined PageGroup in 2015 and I’m now a legal recruitment specialist. No day is the same, from meeting partners at top tier firms to assisting candidates with their next career move.

What’s it like being LGBT in the recruitment sector?

It’s been extremely interesting seeing how a company’s culture can make for a pleasant work experience or the polar opposite. One of the reasons I joined PageGroup was how progressive and inclusive they came across during the interview process. I used to work in an environment that did not support the LGBT community. I knew I wouldn’t progress if they found out I was a lesbian and I would often hear derogatory comments made about the LGBT community passed off as “banter”. But from the minute I joined the team here I felt welcomed and accepted, and I know my colleagues are genuinely interested in my wellbeing and happiness.

At work, do you think being LGBT relates to other parts of your identity?

Less so now I’m at PageGroup, but when I was a practicing lawyer? Definitely. I’m a woman. I’m Lebanese. And I’m a lesbian. Being just one those, I felt my opportunity to progress was more challenged than it should be. But being all three, I felt the barriers I had to overcome to progress were so much higher and harder than for anyone else. Fortunately, I don’t feel that way now. I work hard and I want to succeed. Nothing else is a factor.

What advice would you give to an LGBT person thinking about a career in your sector?

Being happy in your job impacts your entire life and it’s not worth sticking with a career that doesn’t support who you are. Look at careers with companies that are progressive and put the wellbeing of their people at the forefront of their strategy.