June 25, 2019 – Women gaining top roles at executive search firms seems to be an increasingly refreshing phenomenon. Dallas-headquartered Pearson Partners International recently appointed Renee Baker Arrington to the position of president and the newly created post of chief operating officer. She has been with the firm for 13 years, is a member of the board of directors and most recently served as senior vice president. Founding partner Keith Pearson will retain his role as CEO.
“Having worked alongside Renee for more than a decade, I can think of no one more qualified to join me in leading Pearson Partners,” said Mr. Pearson. “She brings an innate, strong understanding of the executive search process and of our firm’s philosophy and culture. Renee is a natural leader and problem solver with an ability to quickly identify patterns and strategic connections that benefit our clients in search as well as in larger leadership development realms.”
Ms. Arrington will continue to source board, executive and technology leadership talent for clients ranging from Fortune 1000 corporations and private equity portfolio companies to not-for-profit and government organizations. With more than 20 years of experience in retained executive search, she leads the firm’s CIO and technology leadership practice group for clients in technology, retail, financial services, business services, distribution, and research and development as well as oversees the Fort Worth, TX, location.
“The talent acquisition market continues to evolve, aided by technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning, and as a matter of interest, we are tracking this,” said Ms. Arrington. “We firmly believe that at the executive levels where we work, the personal touch endures. Our high-touch, high-service approach is why we’ve led the industry in broadening our services beyond search, to include leadership assessment, coaching, onboarding and succession planning.”
Ms. Arrington serves on the board of directors of IIC Partners, where she is liaison for practice groups. (Pearson Partners is a member firm of IIC Partners.) She also serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Corporate Directors, North Texas chapter and is a former board member of the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Society for Information Management. Active in the local community, Ms. Arrington serves as board chair for the Foundation for the Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Fort Worth and is passionate about helping young girls excel in the STEM world.
Why Recruiting Is an Ideal Career Path for Women
The boards of directors for publicly owned search firms continue to skew toward older males. That hard truth, however, does little to dim the enthusiasm that many in the recruitment profession hold for executive search as a career choice – or their belief in the potential for women to succeed in the field.
Established in 2002, Pearson Partners is a full-service retained executive search firm, securing top talent for positions that range from CEOs and CFOs to CIOs, board members and senior executives. Its clients including Fortune 1000 companies, private equity firms and emerging businesses.
Making Room for Women
According to data collected by Hunt Scanlon Media, women in the executive search industry have made considerable progress over the last quarter century, and they continue to do so on a global basis. A massive restructuring has been underway in the executive recruiting business for much of the last decade, from the products and services being delivered, to who’s delivering them. As the statistics show, women are coming out on top.
Here’s some recent women appointed to top roles at executive search firms from the Hunt Scanlon news archives:
Perth, Australia-based executive search firm Gerard Daniels appointed Alison Gaines as the company’s global CEO. Following a 12-year tenure as the head of its board consulting practice and recently as managing partner of Gerard Daniels’ Asia-Pacific practice, Ms. Gaines will now lead the firm to continue to drive growth across all regions and offices.
InterSearch Norway has named Ingvild Myhre, an experienced board and technology leader, as its new chairwoman. “Ms. Myhre has extensive boardroom level experience,” said Trond Hess, CEO of InterSearch Norway. “She has also held several top-level executive positions with large, high-profiled Norwegian technology companies. That is a perfect match for us.”
Egon Zehnder elected Jill Ader as its new chair. She became the first female chair within the global top five executive search and leadership advisory firms. “Jill is exceptionally well suited to guide our continued global growth and service innovation while retaining our ‘One Firm’ focus on our clients.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media