In adhering to the Equality Act, our objective is always to search for, assess and present candidates without prejudice, regardless of age, disability, gender assignment, marital/partnership status, parenthood/maternity, ethnicity, nationality, colour, religion/belief (or lack of belief), sex or sexual orientation.
Supporting equality initiatives
Dixon Walter is a signatory to the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which addresses gender diversity on corporate boards as well as best practice for the related search processes. We also recognise the contribution of the Equality Challenge Unit’s Athena SWAN Charter for advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education employment and research.
Monitoring & reporting
Discrimination, intentional or otherwise, can be a risk at any stage of the recruitment process. Therefore, we monitor equal opportunities data throughout each campaign, and anonymised reports are available to clients on request.
Avoiding bias in recruitment
Recruitment processes can directly or indirectly affect outcomes, so we take every possible step to ensure that our strategy is open, fair and encouraging to all applicants, not just the ‘usual suspects’. If not carefully managed, bias can arise through:
- the language used in recruitment collateral, such as adverts and person specifications
- the structure of the recruitment process itself
- the nature of the competitive selection process.
Building equality & diversity into each campaign
At the start of any campaign, we work with key stakeholders to:
- review their current diversity goals
- explore any evidence for extant under-representation of any given group/characteristic.
Together, we will then design a process which alleviates disadvantage to any group by testing only relevant skills and experience, and which takes steps towards positive action where appropriate. We pride ourselves on designing campaigns based on criteria against which all candidates, including internal applicants, are assessed as equals. Rather than focusing on career experience alone, these criteria take into account ability, competence, interpersonal skills, formal or academic qualifications, professional experience, and any other essential qualities.
In any situation where 2 or more candidates display equal merit, we will consult with key stakeholders to discuss positive action and ensure consideration for any group that is disproportionately under-represented or otherwise disadvantaged within the workforce (providing such a decision would address this under-representation, and as long as clear evidence has been presented to support that disadvantage).
Candidate care & feedback
Dixon Walter prides itself on our candidate care. Our goal is to protect candidates from less favourable treatment because of any personal characteristic, both in our own dealings with them and in their dealings with our client. We ensure that support is provided to candidates from under-represented groups via detailed feedback and guidance throughout all stages of the process.
Equitable access points
Even where not specifically requested by the client, we will usually search internationally in order to find the most suitable and interesting candidates. Furthermore, to prevent disadvantage to candidates in different time zones, we ensure that all access points for applications and campaign materials are available 24/7 via bespoke campaign microsites, email, and out-of-hours Skype interviews.