Diversity & Equality

We foster diversity of people, but commonality of purpose

Diversity & Equality

The business case for diversity and equality in executive recruitment is well documented. Treating people fairly and equally, while embracing diversity has a positive business impact. Organisations whose people and leadership teams’ best reflect and represent their customer base and communities are reporting greater market competitiveness, innovation, enhanced sustainability and employee engagement.

For diversity and equality to be achieved, organisations need to retain their diverse talent and have access diverse talent pools externally. We work with our executive search clients to understanding their needs and formulate non-discriminatory role profiles, while building diverse talent pools from which we can draw.

To support gender diversity we have adopted the Davies Committee Enhanced Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search firms. What’s more, we are one of a handful of search firms who have been accredited by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills for delivering 30% female longlists and 30% female appointments in our board work. We recognise the important role we play in supporting chairs and nominations committees as they take steps to increase the proportion of women on their boards, in both executive and non-executive roles. We also take an active role in shaping broader diversity guidelines for our industry.

“In 2014, 36% of our board appointments were women. We recognise the important role we play in supporting chairs and nominations committees as they take steps to increase the proportion of women on their boards”

Succession planning

We support chairs and their nomination committees in developing medium-term succession plans that identify the balance of experience and skills that they will need to recruit, over the next two to three years, to maximise board effectiveness. This time frame allows a broader view to be established by looking at the whole board, not individual hires; this facilitates increased flexibility in candidate specifications.

Diversity goals

When taking a specific brief, we look at the overall board composition and in the context of the board's agreed aspirational goals look at gender balance and diversity more broadly.

Defining briefs

We work to ensure that significant weight is given to relevant skills and intrinsic personal qualities and not just proven career experience, in order to extend the pool of candidates beyond those with existing board roles or conventional corporate careers.


When presenting longlists, we ensure that at least 30% of the candidates are women. If not, we explicitly justify why we are convinced that there are no other qualified female options, by demonstrating the scope and rigour of our research.

Supporting selection

During the selection process, we provide appropriate support, in particular to first-time candidates, to prepare them for interviews and guide them through the process.

Emphasising intrinsics

As clients evaluate candidates, we ensure that they continue to provide appropriate weight to essential requirements, supported by thorough referencing, rather than over-valuing certain kinds of experience.


We provide advice to our executive search clients on best practice in induction and 'onboarding' processes, in addition to providing transition coaching services designed to help new board directors settle quickly and maximise their impact and contribution.

Embedding best practice

We ensure that best practices in supporting and enhancing board gender diversity are well-documented and shared internally, and that adherence to the Code is effectively monitored.

Signalling commitment

We signal our commitment to supporting gender diversity on boards through our marketing activity, and invest time into developing a relationship with the pipeline of future female candidates. In 2014, 36% of our board appointments were women.