October 30, 2023 – Leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder has formed an alliance with The 350 Club, an online community that connects the FTSE 350 global board community. This partnership combines Egon Zehnder’s boardroom expertise with The 350 Club’s shared vision to fostering an online platform for board members to exchange insights and learnings. “We are incredibly honored to be chosen as The 350 Club’s exclusive search firm partner,” said Karoline Vinsrygg, who leads Egon Zehnder’s U.K. board practice. “This collaboration reflects our mutual commitment to supporting boards and exceptional board leaders, all while championing diversity and innovation. We look forward to leveraging our extensive network and experience to support the growth and success of The 350 Club’s members.”
With representation from chairs, group CEOs, board members, and executive committee members across 89 percent of the FTSE 100, as well as board members from 75 percent of the FTSE 250, The 350 Club has a depth of influence across FTSE boardrooms. Both Egon Zehnder and The 350 Club share a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Egon Zehnder has been tracking boardroom diversity globally for nearly 20 years and has developed practices to promote inclusive boardroom cultures. The 350 Club helps to foster a variety of perspectives by curating a group of FTSE 350 board-ready members, with a particular focus on diversity and digital.
“Our collaboration with Egon Zehnder opens up fresh avenues for our members to connect with top-tier leadership advisors,” said Marianne Macdonald, Founder of The 350 Club. “Egon Zehnder’s dedication to precision, combined with their commitment to diversity and inclusion, aligns seamlessly with our community’s values. This partnership between Egon Zehnder and The 350 Club marks an exciting chapter for both organizations, establishing an opportunity for further enhancing board effectiveness, connectivity and strong governance across industries.”
Egon Zehnder currently ranks as a Top 5 global executive search firm, according to Hunt Scanlon Media. With more than 500 consultants in 68 offices and 40 countries around the globe, Egon Zehnder works with public and private corporations, family-owned enterprises, and non-profit and government agencies to provide board advisory services, CEO and leadership succession planning, executive search and assessment, and leadership development solutions. Since 1964, the firm has been at the forefront of defining top leadership in the face of changing economic conditions as well as major transitions in the executive search field.
Egon Zehnder’s diversity and inclusion practice works with clients across industries and regions to build diverse leadership teams in inclusive cultures by addressing recruitment, integration, and development practices for diverse talent. The firm believes inclusive organizations with diverse leadership at the top get more out of their talent and therefore deliver better performance.
Despite longstanding barriers, female leadership is on the rise, according Egon Zehnder’s Global Board Diversity Tracker 2022-2023 (GBDT). At the board level, there has been steady investment in diversity, equity, and inclusion, with one in three new hires being women and 27 percent of board seats being held by female directors globally. This is the fastest pace of progress the search firm has seen since tracking these stats.
Identifying and Landing a Board Seat for Women
It is no longer news that a diverse board of directors can have a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. According to McKinsey, those companies in the top quartile for board member gender diversity are 25 percent more likely to outperform than those in the bottom quartile, and a Pipeline study found that organizations where women make up more than a quarter of the executive committee enjoy profit margins that are 10 times those with no female board members. Still, according to Fortune, women only hold 28 percent of board seats across all North American and European companies, and growth has slowed in recent years.
“It’s heartening to see the calls for diversity from business stakeholders and broad awareness from business leaders being translated into action globally,” the Egon Zehnder report said. “So, as the composition of boards change in real time, the question left is around what’s next? For chairs, making the most out of their increasingly diverse board starts with fostering a culture of inclusion. Broadly, this means creating the space and the opportunity for all the diverse perspectives around the table to be shared and embracing and owning a leadership role that develops, integrates, and nurtures every director’s perspective regardless of tenure or background.”
“We are encouraged by so many female leaders and allies who are dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion every day,” the Egon Zehnder report said. “With sustained effort and commitment, we have the potential to transform the composition of our boards and senior leadership around the world to include women and underrepresented minorities who will play a key role in shaping the direction of the world’s leading companies. By combining the power of their diverse voices with stakeholder support, we can help move the needle for these leaders to maximize their visibility, enhance their readiness, and break the glass ceiling that has long prevented them from advancing at the same pace as male leaders to leadership positions.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; and Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media