5. What’s your advice to headhunters and those making the decisions on hiring - there is so much discussion around women and diversity yet the dial is not moving very far. Why is this and what can be done to change it?
For the dial to really move, there needs to be a change in attitude from both companies and head-hunters. With this in mind, I make the following pleas for change:
Headhunters - widen the pool
There is a lot of talent out there, many of whom could be fantastic in a range of roles. Spend time getting to know us, think outside the box and don’t overlook candidates because they don’t yet fall into the right ‘circles’ or stereotypes. Help us understand how our experience is relevant and help us shape the route we take to achieve our goals.
Companies - embrace the diversity ‘quota’
As the recent Davies Report underlines, board diversity enhances board performance – it’s a proven fact. Quotas are there to implement change, so explore the talent available, pick the very best talent for your needs and avoid selecting representation for selection’s sake. There are many ways to consider the mix of skill and diversity on your board and it really is worth the effort to do it.
Women - persevere!
To all those making that leap into a NED role, but aren’t getting very far, don’t get disheartened. Change takes time, but in the meantime work with people that understand you and never take no for an answer. Make your experience relevant and ensure your CV captures your broader experience and make clear the contribution you can make to the business. And most of all have self-belief.