When a retained search consultancy sets out to fill a senior level position, it doesn’t promise to find a suitable candidate. It undertakes to find the “best” candidate.
Not long ago, that was assumed to be a man. No more. Any hiring officer who specifies the gender or race of a candidate is ready to be led out to pasture and likely to be sued.
Diversity and Inclusion has been a rapidly rising issue for many years now, driven mainly by racial inequality. In 2020, this has burst into a firestorm of protest and rioting across the U.S. and many other areas of the world.
All recruiting firms take gender diversity seriously today. Not for PR or moral satisfaction, but because studies have confirmed that women leaders stimulate innovation and contribute balanced decision-making.
Yet, despite the data, the road to the corner office is steep and uneven for a woman.
One of the troubling statistics coming out of a recent study of the US workforce (by Leanin.org and McKinsey) is that the percentage of women is almost equal to that of men at entry level — 48% to 52%. By managerial levels, the time for the promotion, that has fallen to 37% — 63%.
This would seem to spotlight the internal promotion system and many studies confirm as much. It also identifies an opportunity for the executive recruiting firm.
And the search business is on track. Three years ago, Santiago’s Aranda led a gender diversity initiative that brought together the top nine search firms in the region to sign the Chile Code of Good Practice promoting D&I in recruitment.
This month, Chairman Simon Wan and President Larry Shoemaker will pledge Cornerstone International Group’s support for #AESC, a commitment to diversity and inclusion everywhere in the world, and to promote it through social media.
The AESC – Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants – is a powerful organization. It holds members to the highest standards of practice – 16,000 professionals in 1,200 offices in 70 countries.
Details of our support and commitment to the elimination of race and gender in leadership development will appear here in the next few days.