Heidrick & Struggles Takes Action with Board Diversity Pledge Globally
Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII), announced that on an annual basis at least half of its cumulative slate of initial board candidates presented to clients will be diverse, reaffirming a commitment to promoting diversity in board of director searches globally. Developed in collaboration with Stanford's Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Heidrick & Struggles' pledge is designed to increase the number of women and members of underrepresented groups considered by boards. Heidrick & Struggles Logo (PRNewsFoto/Heidrick & Struggles) (PRNewsfoto/Heidrick & Struggles)
"Now is the time to make public what we have been driving as a firm globally," said Krishnan Rajagopalan, President and CEO, Heidrick & Struggles. "Today, we are making a pledge to our clients, candidates and employees: we commit that a minimum of half of the initial board candidates presented to clients globally on an annual basis will be diverse."
To accelerate this effort, the firm will proactively identify and interview diverse director candidates, with an emphasis on prospective directors who have not previously served on a corporate board. Each year, the firm will measure results and seek new ways to broaden and enhance global diversity efforts across each board search.
"Our firm is committed to fostering a talent landscape as diverse as the world we live in to better serve our clients and represent our employees," said Rajagopalan. "As advisors to boards all across the globe, we recognize that identifying a diverse slate of candidates is an imperative and delivers on the deeper purpose and values of our firm."
The recently released Heidrick & Struggles 2018 Board Monitor found a substantial increase in female directors among incoming directors in Fortune 500 companies, but a lack of growth in the percent of Hispanic and Asian directors. African-American directors are also significantly under-represented on boards.
"In the past year, 52% of our board of director placements in North America have been diverse," said Bonnie Gwin, vice chairman and co-managing partner of the global CEO and Board practice at Heidrick & Struggles. "This is an opportunity to build momentum globally by presenting the most diverse board options to our clients around the world. Today, there is no talent shortage of diverse and qualified candidates, and there are many exceptional female and ethnically diverse executives who would make highly effective directors. Our latest data from the Heidrick & Struggles Board Monitor suggests that boards are shifting their refresh rates and opting to broaden the views, background and overall composition of the board to enhance diversity."