Executive Search Voluntary Code of Conduct

Working to improve diversity in the boardrooms of British businesses and beyond

We are signatories of the Executive Search Voluntary Code of Conduct and actively embrace the provisions and recommendations it sets out.

FTSE 350 gender diversity statistics 2014

  • 36% of board searches we supported resulted in a female appointment
  • 31% of candidates we presented at long-list stage were women.
  • Women with no prior board experience represented 75% of every female appointment we supported.

Our initiatives to support and develop the female talent pipeline

We have supported and launched a number of initiatives over the past four years to help expand our knowledge of and exposure to aspiring board directors:

  • In 2014, we co-hosted a breakfast seminar with Women on Boards, the UK charity for aspiring female non-executive directors seeking to expand their understanding of the role.
  • We provide training and development seminars for non-executives in conjunction with the Financial Times Non-Executive Directors’ Club. These events and programmes ensure we remain in touch with the ‘next generation’ of board members, many of whom are female.
  • We sponsor the Next Generation NED Network, an initiative organised by Simmons & Simmons aimed at high-potential executives who are considering becoming non-executive directors.
  • Our sector and functional practices host events targeted at talented female executives who have the potential to progress into executive and non-executive board roles.

NED Case study

The client

FTSE 350 manufacturing business

The brief

Recent or current senior executive in an international manufacturing or engineering business; someone who understands the client’s customer base and approach to procurement.

The search strategy

  • Sector: international manufacturing, engineering and support services businesses
  • Relevant functions: general management, Chief Procurement Officers, Chief Technology Officers
  • Other relevant candidate pools: individuals with a background in global supply chain management
  • Experience sought: individuals with exposure to product development and process innovation, ideally on an international scale

Research and candidate identification is supported by sourcing across our extensive international network of contacts to test quality, explore suitability, motivation and board style. For this search, over 138 potential candidates were identified.

The successful candidate

Five different nationalities were represented across the shortlist. All of the candidates were female and none had previously held a UK public company board position. The successful candidate was appointed following detailed reference taking, interviews with Odgers Berndtson and subsequent interviews with the Chair, SID, CEO, CFO and other members of the board.

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