January 16, 2020 – Wilton & Bain recently launched its groundbreaking SWITCH (Senior Women in Transformation & Change) network in North America, which brings together C-suite women across industries and functions. Members who operate at an executive or board level position or are in positions that are crucial to influencing and driving change in organizations have now joined arms.
SWITCH, established in 2016, is an invitation-only network, bringing together over 300 members across the U.S. and U.K. The network is chaired in London by Chloe Watts and Erin Callaghan, both partners at W&B, and is coordinated in New York by managing partner, Lisa Peacock Edwards; senior consultant, Mathilde Hanonik; and consultant, Loren Hiser.
Through SWITCH, Wilton & Bain hopes to ignite a new wave of change across the executive level recruiting space, breaking not just through the glass ceiling of the C-suite and Boardroom, but maintaining the presence of marginalized groups within executive leadership positions, and away from the glass cliff.
“The senior tiers of organizations can often feel like a lonely place to be,” said Ms. Peacock-Edwards. “By bringing together a diverse group of women from across disciplines, SWITCH encourages members to build a network of like-minded individuals who can offer support, share ideas and problem solve in an informal and open-minded environment.”
A Successful Launch
SWITCH runs workshops and events, which explore current thinking and practice on topics like social media management, navigating the political landscape, the neuroscience behind influencing skills, managing the impact of imposter syndrome, balancing professional and personal demands, and health and wellness.
Simply put, “SWITCH is a network for executive women to achieve greater influence & authority, professional equality and personal success,” said Ms. Hanonik.
SWITCH: Bringing Together Powerful Women to Promote Change
In this brand new episode of ‘Talent Talks,’ Hunt Scanlon host Rob Adams is joined alongside three leaders from the Wilton & Bain team: Lisa Peacock-Edwards, managing partner; Mathilde Hanonik, senior consultant; and Loren Hiser, consultant. . In this exclusive podcast, the three leaders discuss SWITCH – a closed invitation networking group which runs a series of events that are bringing female leaders from all industries together to collaborate on the best strategies to overcome workplace inequalities and to improve female representation at the board level and in senior-level roles. Listen now!
The New York City launch took place on Nov. 5 at the elegant Royalton Hotel with an inaugural networking event. “We had an astounding turnout of truly brilliant presidents, directors, partners and board-level women, with each member expressing how much they enjoyed meeting senior women from other industries,” said Ms. Hiser. Planning is already underway for 2020 events.
“Diversity is what you see, inclusion is what you do, equality is what we get,” said attendee Sheryl Chamberlain, vice president strategic alliance at Medidata Solutions, a technology firm for the life sciences. “Bringing together C-suite women from different industries delivers against the promise of equality. SWITCH is the vehicle to drive us forward, and with this level of engagement we will turbo boost our impact.”
“Attending the SWITCH event was more than what I expected,” said Christine Alindogan, business manager for the chief risk officer at Deutsche Bank. “It was a true networking atmosphere with amazing energy in the room. Everyone was kind, open-minded, engaging — and as women, truly ready to elevate one another.”
Nina Boone, the former U.S. chair of the diversity and inclusion board at global professional services firm, Aon, meanwhile, said that a spirit of mutual purpose among those attending was more than evident. “The level of executive network connections and willingness to connect post-event to collaborate was front and center for this event,” she said.
Wilton & Bain Joins Inclusive Culture Pledge
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is becoming increasingly important for both employers and employees. Research has shown that diverse businesses are 35 percent more likely to financially outperform their industry’s national average. For potential job hunters, 67 percent now consider a diverse workforce to be an important factor when considering job offers.
Recently, London-based executive search firm Wilton & Bain joined leading companies from a range of sectors and industries in signing the Inclusive Culture Pledge, an initiative managed by the EW Group, a diversity consultancy.
“As a firm, Wilton & Bain pride ourselves on our commitment to delivering results with a focus on diversity & inclusion,” said Ms. Peacock Edwards. “Since the business imperatives for diversity are too great to ignore, we are pioneering a much-needed business driver through SWITCH, deciding to take a proactive and united approach to impact diversity.”
SWITCH will welcome male allies, firmly believing in the power and strength of collaboration in promoting equal access to opportunity at all levels of professional life. Wilton & Bain are also looking forward to launching SWITCH in Boston, Miami, Toronto and Seattle by the summer this year, as well as continuing their programming in New York and London.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media