Employee diversity is crucial to all organisations, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). Sarah Gordon, chair of the diversity and inclusion at the industry body, noted that inclusion policies should be embedded throughout organisations as they bid to maximise the value of their employees.

“More often than not, recruiters find that decisions made at the top to improve the diversity of an organisation do not filter through to the rest of the organisation,” she noted.

Ms Gordon added that line managers, who ultimately make the recruitment decisions, need to understand why diversity is important if firms are to obtain the widest possible range of skills.

She suggested that improvements can be made by establishing a network of diversity champions within businesses, and having them report back to HR on a monthly basis.

Last year, Ms Gordon noted that business diversity issues were being brought sharply into focus by the government’s equality bill.