MCA launches new inclusivity tool kit for consultancies

12 October 2022 2 min. read
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The Management Consultancies Association has launched a new toolkit aimed at improving the diversity and inclusion of the consulting sector. The organisation’s latest guidance aims to support recruitment in the employee journey, helping professional services firms to attract diverse talent.

A tightening labour market has seen businesses across the UK increasingly look to previously neglected sectors of the talent pool in 2022. The consulting industry is no exception to this – and to boost these efforts, the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) recently found 6% more firms are collecting data on diversity and inclusion. This has led to a 4% rise in UK consulting partners who identify as women, while partners identifying as being from a minority ethnic background also rose 2%. 

To help accelerate this process, the MCA has launched a toolkit, covering a series of principles that firms need to help foster diversity when recruiting talent. Among the factors are using inclusive language throughout the process, anonymising applications, and eliminating bias from recruitment and assessment processes via training.

Speaking on the launch, Tamzen Isacsson, CEO of the MCA, said, “The MCA continues to champion diversity and inclusion in the sector and members are focused on collaborating together to share best practice and experience. To achieve greater progress across our sector our pace of change must accelerate faster. I hope this toolkit helps firms on that journey.”

The toolkit will also examine the importance of data to track demographics across all stages of the recruitment process and judge where interventions might be necessary. Case studies have been included from a number of MCA member firms including the Big Four of EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC, Atkins, and Eden McCallum. For example, Deloitte has implemented school and university blind recruitment; while at EY, interviewers must complete ‘interview without bias’ training before interviewing candidates; and BCS Consulting and Eden McCallum stress the importance of diverse interview panels.

Gita Singham-Willis, Chair of the MCA Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, added, “This toolkit aims to help member firms improve the design and implementation of their D&I strategies and programmes. Our members have brought together examples of best practice, fresh ideas and guidance to be shared across out membership. As part of the MCA’s Consulting Excellence principles, MCA member firms are committed to diversity and inclusion within their workforce.”

The news comes as the latest MCA research shows a 14% increase in consulting sector headcount in 2021, with strong growth in the number of school leavers, apprentices and graduates joining the consulting profession. The gender and ethnicity breakdown of consultants remained broadly unchanged and progress in this area remains a key focus for member firms, ensuring that opportunities for development are accessible to all employees and gender and ethnic diversity is reflected in the most senior positions at consultancy firms.