Achieving leadership diversity

Achieving leadership diversity through executive search

Table of Content

  1. What is Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)? Why is it crucial for organizations
  2. Implementing D&I in your organization: A guide for organizational leaders
  3. Partner with diverse and inclusive executive search experts

Diversity and inclusivity in leadership is one of the most significant topics among emerging startups and large enterprises alike that want to create modern and productive work cultures. Achieving this through a specialized approach to executive search is the best way to find the right talent.

What is Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)? Why is it crucial for organizations?

One topic that finds its way into boardroom and senior management discussions across both startups and large enterprises is Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). The interest around this subject is growing quickly with an emerging workforce and changes in society. Its value for brands, therefore, goes far beyond earning good PR points on social media to actually driving business success.

The Diversity and Inclusion approach refers to the proactive inclusion and involvement of women, minorities, and professionals from various ethnic groups in organizations without any discrimination. Senior leadership and boards across many organizations are well aware by now of the importance and impact of gender and racial diversity and inclusion on employee satisfaction and business growth. Different leaders believe that it is not only a matter of social responsibility, but that diversity and inclusion-focused policies offer organizations a new avenue for talent and built a competitive edge in the market through a workforce of different skills and perspectives.

Different surveys point out the fact that diversity among the leadership enables an organization to be more innovative and profitable. A McKinsey & Company study from 2020 revealed that organizations with more than 30% women executives were 48% more profitable than the least gender-diverse companies. Similarly, companies with ethnically inclusive and diverse leadership outperformed their direct competitors by 36% with respect to profitability more chances to outperform their market competitors.

Implementing D&I in your organization: A guide for organizational leaders

Based on the numbers quoted above, it should not be surprising that diversity and inclusion is a hot topic among the leadership of different organizations these days. While addressing the Gartner Reimagine HR conference, vice president Ania Krasniewska said that in the last 3-4 years, it has become the number one priority of CEOs of different organizations to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their organization as well as their recruitment programs.

Even though organizations acknowledge the importance of D&I, recruiting and HR teams at many organizations continuously fail in bringing ethnic and gender diversity into the leadership pipeline.

  • Equality and equity are key to bringing diversity and inclusion

It is a disappointing fact that due to bias and long-established structure, it is difficult for women candidates to be selected for executive or senior board member positions. But the trend is changing now as the leadership at organizations are actively looking to hire more women for key leadership positions. Many organizations are also following the criteria of 50:50 hiring allocation for men and women candidates during the recruitment process.

Similarly in the past, the situation was worse for (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) BAME candidates due to inherent biases in the recruitment processes and recruiters. But recent surveys indicate a rising positive outlook towards hiring BAME candidates. A recent Gartner survey indicates that in Europe, the ethnic representation in organizations increased to 46% as compared to 2017, as executive search is now focusing on hiring candidates based on their capabilities.

  • Reorganizing recruitment processes

Another reason for the failure of different organizations in achieving real diversity and inclusion is a traditional or rigid approach to the executive search process. A 2019 Gartner survey indicated that 88% of recruiters in the HR department of different organizations accept that they show biasness during the recruitment process based on candidates’ color, gender, age, graduation school etc. 78% of DEI leaders believe that the recruitment management system of their organization is the main factor, responsible for failure in achieving Diversity in the leadership pipeline.

In a recent webinar held by Mogul, a digital networking and community platform for diverse global talent, Cathrin Stickney, the CEO of shared two possible ways to tackle biases in the recruitment management system. She said, “By being thoughtful during the recruitment process, and by being neutral during job descriptions, talented and potential individuals can be recruited which will bring diversity and innovation in upcoming years.” By being deliberate, recruiters can avoid being swayed by ethnic and gender biases during the recruitment process. Neutral job descriptions allow recruiters to hire candidates based on their capabilities and potential instead of other factors.

Partner with diverse and inclusive executive search experts

The confluence of recent social events and market changes amplifies the urgency for an updated approach to D&I by organizations. Organizations must draw on real-world insights and experiences in diversity, equity, and inclusion to customize their approach hiring diverse leadership and managerial talent for maximum impact.


Vantedge Search helps you build a robust foundation and framework for designing, implementing, and tracking diversity and inclusion initiatives to ensure there is business success and that these frameworks can be seamlessly embedded into your organization’s business and talent acquisition strategies.

Contact us for executive search and diverse hiring solutions and strategies.