Why Executive Search Firm Diversity Matters

I’ve been chewing on it a while.  I’ve had something I’ve wanted to say. Executive search firm diversity matters. I know it is impolitic to discuss issues with one’s own industry. I am fully aware it is so much safer to remain silent (and boring). But truth is the executive search firm business lacks diversity.

There I said it.In fact, I said it at length in a blog post on our retained search firm website. The article is entitled Search Firm Diversity Impact on Executive Hires.

The lack of executive search firm diversity is concerning because search firms recruit senior executives and board members to companies that also lack diversity.  It is only natural to wonder is there a relationship between the two? That’s what executive search firm diversity matters. Consequently we ought to have the courage to ask tough questions We must ensure that homogenous search firms don’t build homogenous executive teams and board of directors at the client companies they serve.

If there is a relationship — if there is a cause and effect — then I don’t think it is intentional. At least, I’d prefer to think no one wants to discriminate.  Rather, I suspect what may be at the root of it all is unconscious bias.  We humans come wired that way. If we all have that inclination to prejudge — if we all are prone to error in that way — then there is no one person to blame. And if there is no one person to blame, there is hope that we can come together and fix this thing.

Of course, diversity is notoriously difficult to discuss. Finding ways to talk about executive search firm diversity can be challenging. This is sensitive stuff. Tempers can flare. I’d venture a guess that this blog post might upset some of the leading search firms out there But that’s okay.  I’ve always believed in standing for what’s right.  Fairness. A level playing field.  That’s right as rain.

Still diversity is challenging to discuss.  If what I say upsets someone —  if white, black, hispanic, man, woman, or LGBT feels somehow unappreciated or unheard —  we can get through this thing. There still is hope in this dog-eat-dog world of ours.

There is Adele.




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