Top Search Firms Partner on Boardroom Diversity Initiative

May 29, 2015 – The trend by executive search firms to join forces to advance global diversity initiatives in boardrooms around the world has come to Asia. The Diversity Action Committee (DAC) formed just nine months ago with the objective of building up the representation of women directors on boards of companies in Singapore, has signed up six new search firms.

They join existing member firms Egon Zehnder, Heidrick & Struggles, Korn Ferry, Russell Reynolds Associates and Spencer Stuart. Collectively, the 11 executive search firms bring with them an extensive network of candidates to serve a wide range of companies, many in dire need of expanding their directorships to women.

“I am pleased to see that more members from the executive search community will support greater boardroom diversity and participation of women,” said Magnus Bockerm DAC chairman. “Using executive search services for recruiting board directors is not just for large companies but for any company desiring to bring in the best talent. These active partnerships between companies and search firms support an increased understanding of the business benefits of diversity. The DAC looks forward to a continuous increase of women directors.”

The Diversity Action Committee has added Global Search Partners, Harvey Nash, NQ International, Profile Search and Selection, Robert Walters, and Straits Talent to their search firm membership lineup; all have signed up to its ‘Statement of Good Practice in Executive Search for Board Directors.’ The Statement advocates that search firms first consider the existing strengths of the board and define the complementary capabilities required to serve corporate strategy. It encourages boards to widen candidate pools to include top caliber and diverse candidates.

The DAC announcement follows a growing global push to bring more women into corporate boardrooms. In 2010, the 30% Club was launched with the goal of bringing FTSE 100 board membership representation of women to 30 percent by the end 2015. The number currently stands at 23.5 percent, nearly doubling from 12.6 percent five years ago. Today, nearly every major executive search firm is represented in the Club’s membership roster.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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Sandy Gilmore
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The best practices prescribed in the Statement require the search firms to provide a diverse slate of candidates comprising 20 to 25 percent women candidates and aim to have at least one qualified woman interviewed. Isn’t that the very least we can expect in 2015! Nice reporting. This is important news for every professional man and woman working today. We all benefit when women succeed at the top.

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