Inclusion and Diversity
Unlimited is our philosophy, our commitment and our call to action on Inclusion & Diversity.
We are committed to advancing Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) in Odgers Berndtson and the world at large.
The UK Leadership Diversity Report 2021
Delivered in partnership with BoardEx, this report highlights how companies with strong diversity on their Boards and leadership teams hire candidates from underrepresented groups.
We are proud of our track record. In 2022, for the fifth year running, we reached gender parity in our placements. Read about our work in reading gender parity with FTSE 350 companies in 2021. This follows 54% of Senior board appointments being female the previous year, two-thirds of which were taking a FTSE 350 role for the first time.
If Odgers Berndtson feels like the kind of place you’d like to work, please do get in touch.
What we believe in
At Odgers Berndtson, we will always strive for a world of inclusion, diversity, tolerance and acceptance.
Inclusion and diversity is hardwired into our business and, as such, we have made commitments in two areas.
The first is to create an inclusive culture and working environment where everyone has a sense of belonging and ensures equal opportunities, remuneration, and conditions.
The second is to act on our unique responsibility. As one of the world’s leading executive search firms, we are committed to using our global voice and network to change social inequality and injustice for good. We aim to help our clients address their diversity challenges through more inclusive search, and aim to create a more equal playing field for all emerging and aspiring leaders around the world.
Read more in our latest I&D Report: Unlimited in Action.
Click here for an accessible version of the report.
Meaningful change takes time. At Odgers Berndtson, we are committed to the journey.
How we're doing it
We have and will always stand with and support the inclusion of our colleagues, candidates and clients and are committed to improving the level of diversity in all its forms within Odgers Berndtson. To this end, we launched Unlimited – a programme of initiatives that embody our philosophy and our commitments to inclusion and diversity.
Externally, Unlimited is our approach with clients and how, by working with them, we aim to shape the future of leadership into a more diverse field. We challenge our clients to consider each role's parameters and actively engage with the broadest range of candidates so that we access the most diverse talent pool and recruit the best people. Get in touch with our I&D consultancy practice here.
Internally, it includes our Allies – The Allies programme was created as a means by which to ensure our unique ‘Unlimited’ culture is upheld and resonates across our geographic locations.
Allies are self-nominated individuals who believe all colleagues should experience equality, fairness, and dignity at work and ensure we actively improve in all areas of inclusion, diversity, equity and access. These groups are (though not limited to) Age, Ethnicity, Gender, Disabilities, Mental Health, Menopause, Social Mobility, LGBTQ+ and Neurodiversity.
To find out more about our global Unlimited Festival, an annual week-long event held to educate, celebrate our differences and showcase our commitment to inclusion and diversity - view our Observe Magazine's Unlimited article.
For Pride 2022, as we have done for many years, our LGBTQ+ ally group arranged a variety of events throughout the month that looked to celebrate and educate all things related to LGBTQ+ communities.
We have made it an integral priority to focus on developing our I&D capabilities and have taken a number of important steps in the right direction.
- We use consistent behaviour which excludes any potential for unintentional discrimination.
- We send out engagement and pulse surveys on a variety of topics to our employees regularly. At our last survey, 75% of employees said the Unlimited Festival increased their knowledge and understanding of I&D.
- We are pleased to announce we are a signatory of the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter. We know that ethnic minorities still face significant disparities in employment and progression, and that is something we need to change. We are committed to improving ethnic equality in the workplace against the five charter principles.
- We partner with Change100, Social Mobility Foundation and 10000blackinterns for our summer internship programme, making Executive search accessible to all and providing us a talent pipeline for future hires.
- We support and contribute to a wide range of positive network initiatives, thereby deepening our understanding and reach, including Ethnic Minority Foundation, Change the Race Ratio, City Women’s Network, National Black Women’s Forum amongst others.
- We produce an annual Gender Pay Gap report which highlights the steps we’ve taken in the areas of recruitment, internal progression and salary monitoring, and makes recommendations for further actions.
- Improving our family leave policy so that it more effectively meets the needs of all our people, and adapting our promotions process to ensure it offers an equal footing for all and working with partners such as Leonard Cheshire to create an open and inclusive recruitment process (we are a level 2 Disability Confident employer and working towards level 3).
- Read more in our latest I&D Report: Unlimited in Action
- Click here for an accessible version of the report.
Why we're doing it
Simply put, we believe helping to create fairer and more inclusive societies is not just the right thing to do but is part of our responsibility as a global executive search firm. In fact, the moral case for inclusion and diversity is so irrefutable, that we are focused on the ‘how’, not the ‘why’. Evidence of this ethos is illustrated by:
- Our attainment of the highest government accreditation for search companies on gender diversity – the Executive Search Voluntary Code of Conduct, and placements of some notable firsts across the UK.
- We are a signatory to the UK search industry Voluntary Code of Conduct and are accredited under The Enhanced Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms for the FTSE350. We have also received the highest level of accreditation for our diversity outcomes from the Cabinet Office.
- We continue to contribute and be involved in the Hampton Alexander Review into female representation in corporate boardrooms. In 2019 our percentage of female placements at FTSE350 board level (51%) exceeds the target set by his Steering Group for Women on Boards. In 2021, 52% of our main board appointments went to women, of these, 58% were new to the FTSE 350 boardroom. In 2021, women made up 46% of all our FSE 350 shortlisted candidates. As of December 2022, 60% of our FTSE 350 main board appointments were secured by a woman, 80% of which were new to the FTSE 350 boardroom.
Click here for an accessible version of the report.