Increasing Diversity in Recruitment with the UK Social Mobility Awards

We were delighted to attend the UK Social Mobility Business Seminar on the 19th of March.

The UK Social Mobility Awards have been established to recognise and celebrate the achievements of those organisations that are making huge advancements when it comes to social mobility in the UK. 2019 marks the third year of this inspiring series of events, and Milkround is proud to be sponsoring the Business Seminar and launch of this year’s awards.

We heard from keynote speaker, Nadhim Zahawi MP and Professor Anthony Heath of CSI Nuffield, as well as panelist members on the day: Matthew Coats CB, Sarah Moore, Steven Cooper and Yasmine Chinwala.

Professor Anthony Heath covered both research and insight into why organisations should be caring about social mobility. With the answer being that it’s not just about social justice and a moral argument, but there is also a business case for it too – with greater diversity and less groupthink creating a better work dynamic and working environment.

There is a wastage of talent if you or universities do recruit based on your social background, rather than an ability to do the job

Professor Anthony Heath, CSI Nuffield

It is therefore important that employers are making these changes, especially those large organisations who can use their size and reach to put a stamp on social mobility and create influential change in student and graduate recruitment.

Putting this into action

Both Steven Cooper, previous CEO of Personal Banking at Barclays and Sarah Moore of PwC discussed how they are helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds get into these industries.

With Barclays struggling to recruit young people into their Cardiff regional office and a realisation that they could be doing more when it comes to diversity, they created a successful apprenticeship programme, going into the poorest and least privileged schools to promote the opportunities within the bank. From this, Barclays were able to access a significant amount of talent, creating a strong business case for improving social mobility on a larger scale.

PwC shared insight into their 5-point plan and why it is important to be clear on what works for your business, how you are going to get there and what you are trying to achieve. For PwC, they found going into schools really built momentum and opening an office in Bradford enabled them to reach out to students from poor backgrounds, offering a training plan and giving them opportunities to strive for.

Diversity with Milkround

We recently worked with leading accountancy and professional services firms to improve social mobility in the industry. As part of this campaign, we educated our audience through content pieces on our site, ran workshops at schools across the country and hosted a national competition for students from lower socio-economic areas of the UK.

If you are interested in attending this event or learning more about the 2019 UK Social Mobility Awards, visit: uksomo.com if you’d like more details on how you can enter, contact Paola Contessi: paola.contessi@mtl.org.uk
For more information on how we can help you to become more aware of this topic and take steps to increase diversity your organisation, call us on: 0333 0145 111 or visit recruiting.milkround.com

Delving into Diversity & Inclusion at the ISE forum

We recently hosted the ISE Diversity & Inclusion forum at the Milkround offices, where we saw a number of employers talking about hot topics in the industry, as well as the actions employers can and should be taking in order to overcome their diversity challenges.

To kick things off, we heard from Tristram Hooley, ISE Research Chief Officer, who explored the latest ISE Annual Student Recruitment Survey. Among their research, Tristram spoke about the importance employers are placing on diversity, reporting that 96 per cent of respondents are prioritising at least one or more diversity issues, with some being very focused on multiple diversity strands.

More interestingly, the findings showed us that whilst 67 per cent of employers are changing the way they manage recruitment to address concerns about diversity, when looking at how representative this is of their actual hires and the wider population, the results are very different. People who attended state schools, women, first-generation graduates and disabled people are all under-represented amongst current hires. The average proportion of hires who attended a state school, for example, is 57 per cent and the average UK population average is 91 per cent, showing a clear contrast between what is being done and what the overall population looks like.

Social Mobility and Contextual Recruitment

We then heard from Timi Dorgu, Senior Digital Account Manager from Rare Recruitment and Jen Baird, Graduate Recruitment Manager at Hogan Lovells – who spoke about how Rare’s Contextual Recruitment System can transform the hiring decision process and increase diversity too. The system indicates to employers any candidates who have come from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who are resilient outperformers, allowing employers to deliver tangible results when it comes to diversity.

A behavioural science approach to Diversity & Inclusion

Alice Scott from Development Beyond Learning (DBL) shared research on behavioural science, explaining that it’s not always easy to completely eliminate bias and influence from recruitment decision making. She noted that behavioural science can help employers since it looks at how people really behave, instead of how we think they ought to behave.

Alice spoke to us about how removing information with inaccurate ‘representative models’ in application processes or hiding demographic information on forms can help to focus attention to purely just data, which could lead to more diverse and inclusive actions from employers.

ASD Awareness

Lastly, we heard from Nick Heckscher from ASPIeRATIONS which is a Community Interest Company, set up to help employers attract, recruit and retain highly-skilled, autistic talent. Nick spoke about the benefits of employing high-functioning autistic and Asperger’s individuals into a team, with the increased capacity for innovation and enhanced employee retention rates.

 

If you want to speak to us about diversity and inclusion and how Milkround can better your student and graduate recruitment processes then please don’t hesitate to get in touch: https://recruiting.milkround.com/

 

 

Milkround’s latest insight into the school leaver market

Our Insight Breakfast

On Wednesday 15th November, Milkround offered our latest insight into the school leaver market. At our annual Insight Breakfast, we launched the findings from our most recent report, the School Leaver Candidate Compass 2017.

 

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Lizzy Hunt and Ellie Green from Milkround’s marketing team share our report findings

 

It was a pleasure to be joined by The Prince’s Trust, who offered their own insight into social mobility in the school leaver market and how they actively tackle this, as well as how we as employers can all do more.

 

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Russell Knight from The Prince’s Trust shares insight into student social mobility

 

We were also joined by two amazingly talented apprentices from Jaguar Land Rover and Grant Thornton – thank you Lucy and Holly! It was great to hear the positive impact apprenticeships can have on our young people and how these individuals have smashed barriers and challenged misconceptions held by some of their peers.

Key Findings from the Report

Our survey received over 3,200 responses, with the vast majority of these students studying AS or A Levels currently.

73% of school leavers believe the GCSE reform is a negative change. A third worry that employers will not understand the new system.

70% of our respondents do not believe it is crucial to have a university degree in order to have a successful carer.

98% say they are primarily told about the university as a career choice in school or college.

19% of our respondents who received free school meals had differing views on their future careers than their non-free school meal counterparts.

Download the report.

Booking.com partners with universities to support women in technology

Alongside the University of Oxford and Delft University of Technology, Booking.com has established a scholarship programme designed to encourage and support women in their technology careers. A mere 30% of 7 million who make up the digital sector are women. As a result, women remain underrepresented across all levels.

The Women in Technology Scholarships form a two-year initiative that also involves awards and mentoring schemes, and a partnership with the European Commission.

Gillian Tans, Chief Executive Officer of Booking.com said, “As a company powered by technology and digital innovation, Booking.com believes strongly in ensuring equal access and opportunity for all within the technology sector. Recognizing that female participation in technology is lower than it should be, we are committed to bolstering female tech talent, eliminating obstacles and challenges they face, and fostering diversity.”

As of 2018, 15 scholarships will become available; ten for one-year Master of Science (MSc) courses (within the Statistics, Mathematical Institute, and Computer Science departments) at the University of Oxford aimed at female students across the EU, and five for two-year MSc courses offered at The University of Delft, Netherlands, available to students across a range of partner universities.

Find out more about the initiative 

Female graduates can’t see their future in the tech industry

A survey of over 1,000 university students conducted by KPMG and independent market research company High Fliers has uncovered discrepancies when it comes to the career confidence of male versus female graduates regarding careers in technology.

Despite being as equally competent as young men when assessed on digital skills including data manipulation and social media, a mere 37 percent of young women are confident they have the tech skills required by today’s employers, compared with 57 percent of young men.

Adding to the concern raised by these stats is the fact that 73% of females have not considered a graduate job in technology. It seems the existence of female technical talent does not align with career aspirations in this sector. This lack of self-confidence in female graduates has also been considered here at Milkround. Our research found that female graduates’ salary expectations are much lower than their male counterparts. KPMG’s survey suggests that there could be a correlation between undervaluing personal skills and low salary expectations.

Commenting on the findings Aidan Brennan, KPMG’s head of digital transformation said:

“The issue here isn’t around competency – far from it – but rather how businesses understand the underlying capability of an individual and how to unlock it. I think this research highlights the work that needs to be done to show the next generation that when it comes to a career in tech, gender isn’t part of the equation.

Competition for jobs is tough, and we know that female job seekers can be less likely to apply for a role than their male counterparts if they don’t feel they already possess every pre-requisite the job demands. Businesses committed to building a truly diverse workforce need to adapt their recruitment processes to reflect this, and ensure they don’t fall into the trap of listening only to those who shout about their capability loudest.”

Highlighting that many employers do not specify a degree course in their selection process is also important if young women are to be encouraged into the tech industry. By engaging with students from all degree backgrounds, employers can highlight that skills are transferable across industries traditionally considered widely different.

Graduate trainee, Mary Smith, who studied history and politics at university and recently joined KPMG’s tech consulting graduate programme agrees:

“If you look at the subject I studied at University, you might wonder how my background makes me a good fit for a tech career at a professional services firm. KPMG saw something in me that at the time I may not have seen in myself. Now I am in the role, it is clear that the skills that I already possessed are very much transferrable to the job I am doing. I would encourage more young women to not be deterred by jobs which include an element of tech, and to instead have the confidence and belief in your own capabilities to apply and succeed.”

Here at Milkround, we think raising awareness of these issues is not just vital, but absolutely essential. The best way of doing this in the most far-reaching way is by creating event initiatives that appeal directly to the youth market – such as KPMG’s ITs Her Future. Young women must be shown that a career in tech is not just a place where they could flourish in theory, but that they are actively welcomed onto this pathway and a successful career awaits them.

Student Law Diversity Debate

This Monday, we partnered with The Times to stage the first Student Law Diversity Debate at The News Building on February 22.

More than 150 students, graduates and academics attended the event, sponsored by The Times and its daily legal affairs bulletin The Brief. The event followed the spotlight on diversity in February 2016’s edition of The Times’ Student Law supplement.

The debate panel was chaired by Baroness Brenda Hale, deputy president of the UK Supreme Court.

Panellist Charlotte Proudman, junior family law barrister and equality campaigner, said: “Thank you for organising a cracking event. I really enjoyed it. So very pleased gender equality in law is on the radar.”

Paul Gray, head of marketing at Brick Court Chambers, said: “That was an excellent evening in all ways – spirited discussion, engaging audience, great location and stellar panel.”

Chantelle Barton, marketing executive at Milkround, said: “It was a privilege to welcome over 100 students plus experts from the legal industry to our first Student Law Debate held in partnership with The Times and The Brief. Each of our panellists brought a very personal story about diversity in the legal profession to the discussion.

“Giving the next generation of lawyers the chance to hear from such highly-regarded professionals such as Baroness Hale, and encouraging them to engage with the issue of diversity, is key to a more inclusive future for the legal industry.”

 

Check out some pictures below:

 

More must be done to improve the gender imbalance in the UK’s graduate workforce, researchers have warned.

Image for New report reveals stagnant graduate gender imbalance

A report by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) reveals that only 41.6 per cent of graduate hires in 2014-15 were women, despite 58.4 per cent of all UK graduates being female (according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency).

The proportion has not improved in the past five years, even though 62.8 per cent of employers said they had strategies in place to improve gender diversity.

The engineering sector has the lowest share of female graduates (24 per cent), while the public sector recorded the highest (59 per cent).

“Gender diversity is an issue which requires more of our attention,” said AGR Chief Executive Stephen Isherwood. “Although our data cannot explain why women aren’t securing more graduate placements, it indicates there is more to be done to attract female graduates who in turn need to make the most of the opportunities available.”

Despite the warning, the study indicated a 13.2 per cent increase in the number of graduate vacancies being offered compared to 2014. Graduates’ starting salaries also rose by an average of £1,000, to £28,000.

The law sector averaged the highest median salary, at £37,000 – healthily ahead of second-placed banking, at £31,250.