Women in Charlton Morris: Addressing Our Elephant in the Room


By Andy Shatwell


When we started Charlton Morris in 2013, our aim in year one was to be successful. Success meant surviving, starting to build a client base and possibly being profitable.

After a great first year, we started looking ahead and setting new targets; namely, growing our headcount.

In 2015 we changed premises after growing from nine to almost 20, and we moved into an office that had room for more than 40 consultants. In 2016 came our first international office in Copenhagen.

The company continued to develop as did our goals, last year we expanded our office again with room for more than 60 consultants and we also introduced a new benefits & wellness package to help with employee retention.

As it stands, we have more than 50 employees across the two offices and we’re breaking our own records every month when it comes to revenue which is fantastic, but it’s now time to re-evaluate and create new goals for our business.

This time we’re determined to tackle potentially our biggest challenge to date, and our elephant in the room:

We want more women in our business.

We know that there are great women working all over the recruitment sector – but aside from the fantastic female employees we currently employ, not enough are working with Charlton Morris. We have decided to launch an initiative to find out why and, in the process, hopefully attract more women to apply.

What we’re doing

When we were still in ‘start up’ mode, naturally everyone in the business had a part to play when it came to internal recruitment. When trying to grow, we’d always ask for referrals, recommendations, and contacts from our consultants in our quest to unearth the next great addition to our business. We had a lot of success with this too – we hired lots of fantastic talent who are still with us today, but from a business that started with a team of all male directors, it created a bit of a male-dominated employment cycle.

Last year we appointed an Internal Recruitment & Training Manager to help lift the burden of internal recruitment from our management team and allow us to take a more targeted approach to redressing our gender (im)balance.

It’s been a steady process, but we’ve made some progress already and we’re looking forward to welcoming our next crop of graduates in the summer, which we’re delighted to say features more women than ever before.

As well as our targeted recruitment efforts, we know that we need to make Charlton Morris a more desirable destination for women. I am proud to say that ?we already offer equal pay, equal opportunity, and a respectful working environment and we have also recently launched our enhanced maternity and paternity policies.

Whilst this definitely does make us a more desirable employer for women, we obviously realise that some graduates may not be differentiating between employers using these criteria – a woman walking into our office might just want to see more women.

But we’re working on it.

We are currently holding internal conversations with all the great women we already have in our company, but I’d really like to hear from any other business leaders who have encountered, and overcome, similar issues; we’re committed to working towards equal gender representation within Charlton Morris but would love to hear from anyone with advice.

I, and our team of leaders, know that this is one of our biggest challenges to date in our industry still haunted by ‘boys club’ stereotypes, but we know that by diversifying our workforce we’ll be an even more successful business. We’re just impatient for it to happen as quickly as possible! 

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