Our approach

We seek out talent in all its forms, identify true potential and actively challenge assumptions about what outstanding talent looks like.

We know we have an important role to play in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and we take this responsibility seriously. As such, our clients will be supported but also challenged to achieve their diversity objectives so together we can improve the diversity of senior leadership teams.

Headhunting has often leaned on a little black book, comprising an inner circle of well-known homogeneous contacts. We’re actively working against that method. As an inclusive company, we recognise the qualities and abilities of all people – including those who may not have followed a typical career path or may not ‘look like’ the typical candidate.

Our EDI strategy

AQ’s EDI strategy forms part of our overall business strategy and is ever-evolving as our company grows. We continually empower our team to develop, to bring their whole selves to work and ultimately to become better at what they do  – individually and collectively.

Our EDI strategy will continually evolve, but will always focus on the following areas:

  • Leadership & Culture: Strong senior leadership support that embeds EDI into our wider business strategy and direction, with a focus on development and team inclusion.
  • Training & Development: Educating and training from basic legislative and unconscious bias training to 1:1 mentoring. Creating a safe and confidential environment will support greater learning leaps and cultivate a growth mindset.
  • Partnerships: We work with and seek out organisations and networks to ensure we are supporting greater diversity for our clients and candidates.
  • Communication: We are committed to openness and strong communication with our teams, clients and candidates about the EDI work we are doing. We may not always have the answers, but are committed to affecting change.

Our identity

Diversity and inclusion are a priority for AQ and part of our commitment is to ensure we fully understand the make-up and representation across our own company. In late 2022 EW Group facilitated the ‘Our People’ survey, anonymously asking all employees about aspects of their identity. We also asked questions about our team’s experiences of inclusion and belonging at work. These responses will help us to improve and evolve our inclusive culture, to evolve our EDI strategy and ultimately to do more work to bring our values to life further.

This infographic provides a snapshot of the identity of our team.

EW Group

We partner with EW Group, the UK’s leading diversity consultancy, to deepen our individual and collective understanding of EDI at AQ. Our work with EW Group has enabled us to embed EDI into all that we do from living our values, to cultivating our business strategy, and to our continued development both internally and externally as we work to affect change.

From online and in person training, to diversity audits and taking part in the EW Group Inclusive Culture Pledge, our partnership drives us to continually develop diversity and inclusion at AQ and to provides our employees with a safe, fair and supportive place to work.

Rio Ferdinand Foundation

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation works collaboratively with young people and communities to deliver progression pathways aimed at ensuring young people are socially mobile and empowered to be independent, take control of their lives and achieve their full potential. Recognising that sports, media and the creative arts are great motivating factors for young people, the Foundation utilises those mediums, and Rio’s connections within those industries, to provide a pathway for youth development. The work of the Foundation delivers under four strategic pillars: Sport & Social Inclusion, Health & Wellbeing, Safer & Stronger Communities and Skills & Training.

Our partnership with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation has enabled us to share our team’s knowledge, experience and expertise to support and mentor young people in both our local community of South London and more widely across the UK.  We hope that this work with future talent in the Foundation’s Pathways to Achievement programmes will play a positive role in developing the country’s future leaders.  We want to help raise aspirations and improve employability for young people.

The AQ team take part in virtual Q&A sessions, bespoke workshops and mentoring programmes to provide the Foundation’s young cohorts with essential employability skills, help to widen their employer networks and give career guidance, helping them to build a sustainable future and reach their potential.

Partnerships and networks

We actively partner and network through a range of diverse business and professional networks and forums, particularly those focussed on promoting diversity within key senior management appointments. We structure our candidate attraction to ensure we are actively targeting under-represented communities and we target institutions/organisations that can evidence a genuine commitment to equality and diversity, for example through the achievement of relevant external accreditations and those institutions that have clearly stated strategic objectives focused on equality and diversity.