The Founder and CEO of socially-driven graduate employment specialists Adopt an Intern (AAI) has called for more inclusive employment practices as the organisation places their 1500th candidate into paid work.

AAI has been championing gender diversity and ‘equality of opportunity’ in Scotland since 2010. In the last year, 44% of applications to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) roles with AAI were from women, equating to 65% of the successfully placed candidates.

With employers admitting that ‘diversity’ and ‘retention’ are their biggest challenges, AAI’s agenda of promoting short-term internships and probationary periods as a way to find long-term team members has struck a chord with businesses of all sizes.

VistalWorks CEO and star of the BBC’s ‘Election Den’ and ‘The Entrepreneurs’, Vicky Brock said:

“This is my 5th technology startup, and in all my years of building teams, this was the first time I’ve seen a truly diverse shortlist. It has been such a relief to work with AAI and to know I can grow my company fast and deliberately, without having to compromise on the values and total commitment to diversity that we have as a co-founding team.”

Joy Lewis, Chief Executive of AAI, said:

“This 1500 milestone not only reminds me of all the incredibly talented people we’ve helped to realise their potential, but also the wonderfully varied businesses we’ve supported.

Supporting talented women is something that has happened quite organically. A sense of justice for paid opportunities regardless of age, gender and background has always driven the company. We’ve worked hard to make the opportunities we support as transparent and inclusive as possible, and have been recently trialling gendered language analysis software in our job adverts.

We will continue to support Government agendas around gender and racial diversity. We will continue to encourage employers to hire for potential.”


Their 1500th intern, Zivile Laskauskaite, has embraced opportunity in a 9-month HR internship with Stirling Council. The Council has taken on 30 interns with AAI since 2013.

Zivile said of her opportunity:

“Going for this position has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have seen myself grow, both as an individual and as a young professional, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for me.”

AAI has now worked with 1000+ employers of all sizes, from the Government to glass blowers, to facilitate graduate-level employment placements; the majority of which have led to full-time jobs. As well as supporting graduate job-seekers, AAI takes a hands-on approach to consulting businesses before managing the recruitment and shortlisting processes to find the right candidates.

Brand Manager Kelsey Johnston joined award-winning designer and weaver Araminta Campbell as an intern through AAI in 2016.

“I joined Araminta Campbell at a key stage of growth, and was able to take on a lot of responsibilities in a short amount of time. I have grown with the company, and am proud to have been a part of shaping the business it is today. Recently things have really taken off and we actually contacted AAI earlier this year to help us grow the team again after seeing their support for women returners.”

Originally published by July 22, 2019.

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