Executive Search Voluntary Code of Conduct

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

We are recognised in the Enhanced Code segment for our work with FTSE350 businesses.

FTSE 350 gender diversity statistics 2016

  • Over half of board searches we supported resulted in a female appointment
  • 42% of candidates we presented at the long-list stage were women.
  • Women with no prior board experience represented 42% of every female appointment we supported.

Our initiatives to support and develop a diverse talent pipeline

We continue to support initiatives to help expand our knowledge of and exposure to aspiring board directors:

  • 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.
  • 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 executives who have the potential to progress into executive and non-executive board roles.
  • We have created and run a mentoring programme to champion diverse future leaders for the procurement function. This is a multi-faceted, year-long programme aimed at mid-to-senior level career female professionals (mentees) and experienced CPOs (mentors).

NED Case study

The client

FTSE 250 Fintech

The brief

An ideal profile called for a current or recently retired senior executive from a listed business environment, ideally within a regulated sector. To reflect our client’s international operations and growth ambitions, we sought a non-UK national/resident.

The search strategy


  • Sector: regulated sectors, particularly financial services and technology-related businesses
  • Relevant functions: finance, technology, business development
  • Other relevant candidate pools: individuals with experience in M&A and a demonstrable international perspective
  • Experience sought: an accountancy qualification, awareness and broad understanding of technology-based products

Research and candidate identification was supported by sourcing across our extensive international network of contacts to test insight, explore suitability, motivation and board style. For this search, over 230 potential candidates were identified.

The successful candidate

The seven shortlisted candidates included four different nationalities and individuals based in five different countries. The majority of the shortlist consisted of women, all of whom had extensive board experience. In the end, the client appointed two women following detailed reference taking, interviews with Odgers Berndtson and subsequent interviews with the Chair, SID, CEO, CFO and other board members.

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