BIPOC Executive Search Launched in Canada

July 16, 2020 – The executive search industry is being disrupted by the entrance of a multitude of new players offering advanced business models and new technologies. The latest: BIPOC Executive Search Inc. has been launched to focus on the recruitment of black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) for organizations across Canada.

The new venture is inspired by the BlackNorth Initiative — a program calling on Canadian organizations to, by 2025, ensure black leaders hold 3.5 percent of executive and board member roles, at minimum. BIPOC Executive Search seeks to support organizations in their quest to fulfill this critically important mission.

“It is encouraging to see leaders, across sectors, become more intentional about increasing the representation of black people around decision-making tables,” said Jason Murray, founder and president. “Many of these leaders are now asking ‘where do we go from here to ensure the work gets done?’ Our team — made up of BIPOC community members — brings professional and lived experience to each client engagement. With a team reflective of the community that organizations seek to attract, when retaining us clients are assured that black candidates are pursued for positions at the most senior levels.”

As many workplaces are steeped in historical and institutional structures often responsible for disenfranchising indigenous and/or racialized employees, BIPOC Executive Search will provide a range of solutions, services, and training, including organizational EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) audits, cultural transformation support, human resources EDI support, succession management for BIPOC staff, cultural sensitivity training, unconscious bias training, and more.

BIPOC Executive Search notes that “black people are often at the forefront of diversity initiatives; while the firm is keen to ensure that the Black population is represented in senior-level positions, work still needs to be done to increase Indigenous and POC representation at senior tables.” Among others, joining Mr. Murray as senior team members of the new firm are Helen Mekonen, Jefferson Darrell, Jessica Yamoah, Candice Frederick, Sedina Fiati, Stacy-Ann Buchanan, and Erica Ing.

Mr. Murray most recently served as a partner in the academic practice at Odgers Berndtson. To date, he has worked on over 300 executive search assignments. For part of his career, Mr. Murray was a supervisor in the consulting division of Deloitte & Touche (Toronto), where he provided organizational management and human resources services to the 994 individuals that make up this fast-paced division.

“Jason is a leader in the executive search business, and one of a few black executive search recruiters in Canada,” said Wes Hall, founder and chairman of the BlackNorth Initiative. “With his experience and drive, and with the strength of the BIPOC Executive Search team, it’s very good to know that organizations across the country will have a specialized resource for increasing black, indigenous, and racialized senior hires.”

“BIPOC Executive Search is a mission-driven organization,” Mr. Murray said. “With respect to our purpose, that’s twofold: by working with clients to attract, develop, and retain a workforce truly representative of diverse populations, as global citizens we’ll build greater capacity to innovate while we meaningfully tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

“Since research has shown that companies inclusive of black, indigenous, and communities of color perform better fiscally, aside from the moral argument around inclusivity our economy is not realizing its true potential when diversity at the executive level is lacking,” Mr. Murray added. “Intuitively, we know that many companies share the belief that a diverse team is both good and necessary. Where racial diversity is lacking in an organization and where cultural reform is needed, BIPOC Executive Search can help.”

Open for Business

Over the past year, new recruiting firms have put out shingles around the world in a wide range of industries. Here’s a look at a recent sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Veteran executive recruiter Steve Caliger has launched The Loring Group. Mr. Caliger has had a distinguished career as a sales leader and executive search consultant in the technology industry. He is a technology professional who has held leadership positions with several industry icons. With more than 20 years of executive search and consulting experience, Mr. Caliger develops senior leadership teams for sales, finance, product, engineering and information technology. In addition, he has done work for consumer products, financial services and non-profit organizations.

Doyen Search Group, an executive search firm specialized in hospitality and real estate development, has been launched by Darrell Maxwell. Serving clients across the U.S., Doyen Search Group said that it guarantees to deliver top talent, from directors to C-suite executives, through a personalized, in-depth process and high level of expertise. “We take a client-first approach at DSG, working with only a few select companies at a time, allowing us to become thoroughly familiar with your company and its culture,” said Mr. Maxwell. “We are proud to officially launch our executive search firm and offer our services nationwide this New Year.”

Bernard Layton and J. James O’Malley have launched Comhar Partners. Comhar was formed to provide independent recruiting expertise in partnership with the firm’s clients to help solve their full spectrum talent management challenges. Comhar Partners, led by former Stanton Chase executives, was formed to focus on providing recruiting solutions in consumer products and services, education and non-profit, financial services, healthcare and life science, industrial, private equity, professional services and technology industries. The firm is headquartered in Chicago with specialized recruiting consultants based in seven offices across the country, including New York City, San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta, South Florida and Mid-Atlantic, with additional offices to be announced in 2020.

Mary Lee Montague has announced the launch of Montague & Associates, a national firm based in Chicago that specializes in C-suite searches for non-profit organizations. “This is a pivotal time for the non-profit sector, which needs dynamic leaders just as critically as for-profit firms,” said Ms. Montague, an executive search professional for more than two decades.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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