IT recruitment firms are being encouraged to tackle discrimination by considering a wider range of potential employees.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation and government service Jobcentre Plus plan to offer IT recruitment firms a "diversity toolkit" to assist in assessing their working practices.
Companies with a diverse workforce can gain a competitive edge by attracting the best people from untapped pools of talent, the confederation said.
Diverse workforces improve efficiency, reduce costs and staff turnover, and enhance reputation and brand, it added.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation plans to invite IT recruitment agencies to sign a pledge committing to developing best practice in workforce diversity.
The online toolkit will allow recruitment agencies to assess whether their policies are compliant with diversity best practice, and will generate an action plan if they are not.
"The recruitment industry should be leading the way in diversity," said Marcia Roberts, deputy chief executive at the confederation.
"This tool will become a valuable resource to companies trying to understand the wealth of policy, legislative requirements and good practice guidelines."