LGBTQ+ Inclusive Recruitment Techniques in a Virtual World

By Jake Robson and Kris Vucak, MACQUARIE


Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and not being able to physically meet in person, technology has enabled our Macquarie Pride EMEA Employee Network Group to continue to engage virtually with our clients, communities and potential new employees from a range of different backgrounds across Europe and the globe.


Since the beginning of the pandemic, the network has been busy hosting and speaking in various virtual events to showcase Macquarie’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.


Throughout 2020 and 2021, Macquarie employees have showcased this commitment by speaking at, and participating in, multiple virtual events hosted by the likes of MyGwork, PinkNews, Difest Global, Diversity Network, DiversityQ, CityParents, the Department of International Trade. And, specifically targeting students, graduates and potential entry-level recruits, through events hosted by PinkNews Futures, the Bright Network, Hype Collective, and certain university opportunities to support LGBTQ+ students.


“Macquarie values a diverse workplace: it’s the right thing to do and it also makes sense from a business perspective,” says Jake Robson, Senior Manager at Macquarie and member of Macquarie’s Pride EMEA network. “Engaging with potential future employees to showcase our diversity and inclusion credentials is very important to me because new hires are the future colleagues and leaders of the organisation. So it’s vital we continue to attract a broad range of candidates and we make sure that everyone feels they can succeed here.”


People, particularly students, have spent a lot of time interacting with others virtually during the pandemic, so the network has come up with a number of techniques to ensure we can really engage potential candidates. For example, the network sent out food delivery vouchers ahead of one event as an icebreaker. This created an opportunity to discuss what everyone had ordered before the presentation to help engage the audience, increase psychological safety and participation levels. The network has also added polls and trivia questions to help make presentations livelier and more interactive.


Other ways in which the network has seen engagement levels increase is through tailoring the timing and format of its presentations and virtual events. For example, hosting shorter “drop in” style sessions during the day, rather than long sessions in the evening which might be exhausting after a long day, are resulting in higher attendance. And implementing techniques to help build anticipation before an event, by sending out information and competitions such as finding hidden images in a presentation to win a prize, have really helped drive audience engagement and get the competitive juices flowing.


Kris Vucak, Senior Manager at Macquarie and member of Macquarie’s Pride EMEA network, explains why recruitment is important to him. “It’s vital that we show LGBTQ+ students who are wanting to enter the workforce that support networks such as Macquarie’s Pride EMEA network exist to help them reach their peak potential. I hope that by sharing my own experiences, and interacting with students throughout these events, I’m able to quell any fears about being ‘out’ in the workplace and help give candidates the confidence to be their full selves from day one.”



About the Authors

Kris joined Macquarie in Brisbane in 2011 where he worked part time in small business banking while studying at university.  In 2013 he joined the Commodities and Global markets group in Sydney covering the US energy business, then moved to London in 2016 where he is now a specialist on the Trading Floor. Kris is an active member of Macquarie’s EMEA Pride employee network group and is co-lead for recruitment and external communications.




Jake joined Macquarie in Sydney in 2011 and has been working in the London office since 2015. Jake’s career has always been in credit risk where he initially covered the leverage finance and principal investment businesses, and more recently he has focused on energy markets. Jake also sits on Macquarie’s Pride employee network group where he is co-lead for recruitment and external communications.