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.
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:
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.
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.
We are a committed partner of the EW Group Inclusive Culture Pledge, making a public commitment to taking diversity and inclusion seriously and to providing our employees with a safe, fair and supportive place to work.
Our pledge for 2023:
“We pledge to strengthen our equalities data collection, analysis and presentation with investment in a new bespoke platform. This will enable us to better monitor our progress for clients and candidates as we continue to drive diverse candidate lists and appointments. We will continue to build on our team’s DEI development training and will undertake an AQ diversity survey to understand where we need to deepen the diversity of the AQ team, always ensuring we preserve and cultivate our inclusive culture.”
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.
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.