Montreal Associates achieves gender equality 217* years ahead of schedule

5 mins

It’s been an amazing year for the team at Montreal Associates, and not just in terms of grow...

It’s been an amazing year for the team at Montreal Associates, and not just in terms of growth and expansion… although these things are, of course, not to be sniffed at. We have achieved something that few other recruitment companies can claim: equal male-female representation at all levels of the business, and an elimination of the gender pay gap.

Indeed, of a total workforce of 70 people, 35 are male and 35 are female. Moreover, women now make up 50% of all senior positions as well as all consultancy and support roles. This is more impressive given the fact that we operate in a highly technical and incredibly niche industry that is overwhelmingly male dominated.

Of course, equality isn’t limited to a level male-female balance - it also includes parity when it comes to salaries. When it comes to pay, we have a transparent compensation and benefits scheme, meaning all promotions are based on performance and merit - regardless of gender and age. 

According to figures published by Monster using figures obtained by PayScale, the average salary for a male recruitment consultant in the UK is £25,110 per annum, versus £21,800 for female consultants. In Davos this month, the World Economic Forum announced that the gender pay gap will take 217 years to close… so it’s nice to see we’re doing our bit to close it a few centuries earlier!

With 90% of the Montreal Associates team able to speak more than one language fluently, and several nationalities and ethnicities represented, we are also one of the most multi-cultural tech recruiters in the UK. This was a crucial factor in using winning the APSCo Diversity & Inclusion Award 2017 - an accolade we’re immensely proud of, and one that is a testament to the great strides made within the business over the last 12-18 months.

Montreal Associates has been moving in the right direction for some time. Over the last few years, we have enjoyed impressive growth that has also seen us enter new markets overseas and increase our share in others. This has not only prompted a drive to recruit new consultants to help support our growth, but also a rethink of our recruitment strategy itself.

The sectors we work in are incredibly competitive, as is the recruitment industry itself. One of the most proven and effective ways to stay ahead of the curve is to ensure that the people we have in place are a true representation of the workforce as a whole. So, the decision to re-shape our own recruitment strategy to this end simply made good business sense in a number of key ways:

-       Staff retention has risen by 16% over the last 12 months, with - 25% of staff have now worked here longer than 10 years (a rarity in recruitment)

-       Turnover has increased by 25% year-on-year, prompting the opening of our first international office in Frankfurt (the headcount of which has almost doubled since opening) and the soon-to-be-opened office in Barcelona

-       Employee referrals now account for 26% of all new hires, and

-       Employee advocacy and staff engagement levels are at their highest in almost 40 years (up to 86%)

Recruitment business leaders need to better understand that striving for greater female representation and equality in pay is good for their people, their teams, their clients and their candidates too. Having achieved gender parity at all levels, we are proud that we have a truly representative business. The challenge is to keep it that way.