European & International News

Selection processes bypass women executives

[Brussels, 29 May 2012] New research shows that the appointment of women to FTSE 350 listed non-executive director roles is being held back by selection processes which ultimately favour candidates with similar characteristics to existing male-dominated board members. The benefits of attracting a diverse board and in particular female directors are well documented and yet there is still a lack of diversity on many firm’s boards.

The research carried out by Cranfield School of Management is the first in-depth study into the appointments process and the role of head hunters. You can address this imbalance and gain from a wider pool of talent by:

  • Briefing executive search firms to look beyond the current makeup of board members for the right ’fit’ for new appointments;
  • Ensuring that the selection process remains inclusive and rigorous at the short-listing and interviewing stages;
  • Publicly advertising board openings;
  • Encouraging any executive search firms that you work with to invest more time into developing relationships with women to build a future talent pipeline;
  • Ensuring that executive search firms carry out regular reviews of the effectiveness of the voluntary code of conduct.

You can read the full report Gender Diversity on Boards: the appointment process and the role of executive search firms, online at<>

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