Key practice | Equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace

By Nicki Pritchard

Nicki Pritchard, a Managing Partner at Anderson Quigley, discusses how organisations in the recruitment sector can build ED&I into their culture, and engage staff to ensure greater inclusion, employee satisfaction and talent attraction.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion sits at the heart of our ethos at Anderson Quigley. By instilling ED&I values at the heart of our business, we don’t view it as a bolt-on project or a reactionary commitment. ED&I is intrinsic to our business strategy, and also informs the recruitment services we provide to our clients and candidates.

Here are some of the key practices we’ve embraced to embed ED&I values into our organisation and working culture:

Support your staff

Not all your staff will have the same level of understanding of ED&I. They might be at different stages of understanding and have varying learning and support needs. It’s important to acknowledge and then support these differences to ensure the entire team buys into the core values of your organisation. One way to achieve this may be through offering one-to-one training programmes, where employees receive individual guidance that is tailored to their specific needs and development objectives. This can be particularly beneficial for team members who may not feel comfortable speaking up in a larger group setting, or those who are less knowledgeable or have had less exposure to ED&I issues.

Building ED&I values is a listening and learning experience

Senior experienced staff might feel an expectation to already be experts on ED&I, so they may not feel that asking questions is appropriate or it exposes knowledge gaps. This frame of thinking can be extremely harmful because it prevents learning for the individual and for the wider team. It should always be seen as an opportunity to learn and to listen. We don’t have all the answers right now, and assuming otherwise would only be to our detriment. So instead, we try to position these learnings to our employees as a chance for growth and development. It’s far more beneficial to engage employees with a growth mindset than to expect they will already have all the answers.

Continue the conversation

It’s important to view ED&I as a journey that is always evolving, we must continue to find new ways to reinforce our learnings and perspectives within the team culture. At Anderson Quigley, something we recently implemented to support our continued mission was an ED&I monthly newsletter. It’s an internal project that allows us to discuss different topics around diversity each month, whether that be legislation, the language we’re using, or lived experience stories. It’s incredibly valuable as a learning resource because it continually stimulates new conversation and enables us to ask questions in a safe space while also being something that staff can return to and reflect on in their own time.

Carry your learnings forward

Research from a McKinsey report, ‘Diversity wins: How inclusion matters’ (May 2020), shows that diversity in an organisation - particularly at senior and leadership levels - has a strongly positive effect on financial performance. As recruiters, we are in a privileged position to carry our ED&I learnings forward and encourage other organisations to embrace more diversity of background, thought, experiences and skills. At Anderson Quigley, we do this by providing our clients with the widest possible pool of candidates, sourced from broad networks and by passing our knowledge forward so our clients can make an impact on their own organisational diversity objectives.

Find out more about Anderson Quigley


About the author

Nicki Pritchard is a Managing Partner at Anderson Quigley and leads all corporate, governance, EDI, operations, and marketing activity. With a strong background in publishing and brand communication, Nicki also leads the support team, ensuring Anderson Quigley provides a first class and timely service allowing the consultants to be fully client and candidate focussed.


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AQ is a specialist executive search, interim management and advisory consultancy, supporting organisations focussed on society and social development. Driven by our core values - integrity, diversity and hands-on project ownership, we use our decades of knowledge and expertise to deliver leadership recruitment in education, healthcare, charities and government. Dedicated to exceptional candidate and client care, we build better leaders for a better society.