Working In Partnership To Promote Diversity In Internal Audit Team


This international bank introduced wanted to increase the number of women it employed to increase the diversity in its internal audit function. It introduced a requirement that an equal number of female and male candidates must be presented for each role within the team. Male candidates would not be progressed if there wasn’t an equal number of female CVs to review.


All female candidates in the market that looked relevant for the open roles were contacted, taking a broad approach as to the levels of the required skills and experience that each candidate possessed, to increase the number of potential candidates. This degree of focus increased the number of female candidates submitted but there is a long-standing chronic shortage of female candidates in IT audit. To assist the client, our consultant collected specific data showing the number of female IT auditors employed within the UK banking sector. Female candidates with the requisite skills that required visa sponsorship were also identified and the client was asked if sponsorship was something they could consider. This information on the number of UK and overseas based female IT auditors was presented to the client and the shortage of female IT Auditors was discussed. It was concluded that it was unrealistic to have a policy of needing an equal number of female and male CVs for each IT audit role. This was likely to slow down recruitment processes, lead to the loss of suitable male candidates to the client’s competitors that did not have the same gender-based selection policy. It was agreed that a long-term view would be taken to drive up the numbers of IT auditors that were recruited, rather than seeking to achieve this on a position-by-position basis.


The client introduced a higher degree of flexibility towards excepting male CVs without an equal number of female CVs. At the same time, we made extra efforts to identify female candidates who had the potential to be developed into IT auditors, even if they didn’t possess all the skills being sought. It was also explained to all female candidates, how serious the client was about D&I and doing as much as they could to recruit and develop women in the organisation. We are measuring our D&I performance on a quarterly basis to monitor our ability to increase the number of women recruited into IT audit roles over time. Of the last three roles that we have successfully filled, two have been filled with men and one with a woman, with a further woman at the final stage of the recruitment process at the time of writing.