The struggle for gender equity in business – especially for women leaders – makes progress in little steps. A year ago, a McKinsey survey revealed that among the G20 countries, the world’s most advanced, only three have women in at least 30% of corporate board or executive committee positions.
Last month, Odgers Berndtson zeroed in closer to look at commercial leadership roles in the technology sector with more gratifying results: in 2018, women on average earned higher salaries in tech than men.
The Odgers Berndtson survey is interesting because it was made by analyzing 1,000 global executive placements in recent years. This brings attention to the role played by the recruiting industry.
The merits of diversity in business now being unequivocal, it can be argued that a management consultancy has an obligation to recommend women for leadership positions.
That’s an argument that resonates at Heidrick & Struggles, one of the largest global recruiting firms, which has pledged that 50% of its candidates for Board positions would be women.
It also resonates here at Cornerstone International Group where our 56 global offices include acclaimed international leaders in gender diversity.
One of them is Alejandra Aranda, founder of Humanitas Executive Search, Cornerstone’s member in Santiago, Chile. Two years ago, she was approached by the Gender Parity Initiative of the World Economic Forum to take part in a Code of Good Practice. She went one step further and persuaded all eight of her top competitors in Chile to sign a 10-point Code of Good Practice on Gender Diversity Management for executive search firms.
Just recently, the Ministry of Women and Gender Equity of Chile convened the most prominent headhunters to increase the number of female Board Directors and chose Aranda as spokesperson.
“Appointing more women leaders is a global trend because it works,” she says. “They bring a different viewpoint and add value.
“According to the Interamerican Development Bank, companies with at least one woman on their executive committee had a return on equity 44% higher and operating profitability 47% higher than those with exclusively male committees.”
With stats like that, you have to wonder why gender equity has to come in these little steps. Maybe some people still don’t get it? Nah, guys wouldn’t be that dumb.
Leave a comment and tell me what you think.
You can also read about how Elena Terol of Cornerstone Madrid presented four female candidates for a position on the Board of a global telecom company. The CEO was so impressed he appointed one to the Board and hired the other three.