The Profession

The AESC Diversity Pledge

We are CEOs representing leading executive search and leadership consulting firms around the world and we have come together to speak with one voice. As a profession, we are dedicated to strengthening leadership worldwide and believe in the power of diverse talent and inclusive cultures.

We are proud to stand in support of our Black colleagues, clients, candidates, and the entire Black community. Actions that accelerate progress for Black leaders and the Black community will be a critical priority.

Our Pledge


We share a commitment to combat racism, prejudice, and discrimination within our own organizations, with candidates and the clients we serve, and in our communities.

We pledge to use our collective voices and actions to help create a world that is inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible for all.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Accelerate

    Each CEO who signs this pledge is committing to developing and deepening actions within their own firms. Our Guiding Principles will help inform firm-based actions which will accelerate a sustainable positive impact.


  • Educate

    We commit to listen, engage, and learn so that we can do better both as employers and as trusted advisors. We will understand and leverage best practices to greatly enhance attracting and developing diverse talent for ourselves and our clients. We will work with our clients to identify leaders and assess them for their ability to create inclusive cultures where diverse talent thrives.

  • Advance

    We will develop stronger and more diverse slates of candidates through robust research, outreach, and alliances. We will use our expertise to mentor diverse talent to raise their visibility and their success and will identify partnerships that allow us to engage more people, and thus have a greater impact.

  • Advocate

    We will advocate with clients to help them embrace best practices that further their diversity and inclusion efforts which, in turn, will enhance business results. We will contribute our time and our expertise to under-served communities to advance racial equity and economic empowerment and to fight for social justice.

A special thanks to the following CEOs who formed our initial working group to develop this Pledge and Guiding Principles. We came together to leverage the strength of our profession and with a belief in the power of diverse talent and inclusive cultures.

  • AESC: Karen Greenbaum, President and CEO
  • Boyden: Trina Gordon, President and CEO
  • Diversified Search: Dale Jones, CEO
  • Heidrick & Struggles: Krishnan Rajagopalan, President and CEO
  • Russell Reynolds & Associates: Clarke Murphy, CEO
  • Spencer Stuart: Ben Williams, CEO
  • Stanton Chase: Mickey Matthews, International Chairman
  • WittKieffer: Andrew Chastain, President & CEO

Demonstrate Your Commitment to Action

To ensure that our voices are heard, and our impact is felt, AESC invites member CEOs across the world to sign on to our pledge and commit to action. We will display the names of each firm that signs on to this Pledge, Guiding Principles and commits to develop and deepen actions within their own firms.

Commit to Our Pledge

Participating Firms

  • Academic Search 
  • Acertitude, LLC
  • Alder Koten
  • Alides / ECI 
  • Alspective / Panorama
  • AltoPartners / All 38 Member Firms
  • Amrop Romania
  • Anderson & Associates
  • BIPOC Executive Search
  • BoardWalk Consulting / Panorama 
  • Borderless Executive Search 
  • Borrer Executive Search 
  • Boyden
  • Buffkin/Baker / Panorama 
  • CareerSMITH, Inc. 
  • Ccentric Group
  • Coleman Lew Canny Bowen
  • Cornerstone International Group
  • Coulter Partners
  • CSI Executive Search LLC
  • Diversified Search Group / AltoPartners
  • ECI – Alides
  • Eileen Finn & Associates
  • Ellig Group
  • EMA Partners
  • Eric Salmon & Partners
  • Eton Bridge Partners
  • EXEC / Panorama 
  • Fisher Leadership
  • Global Sage
  • GOSECO International Executive Search
  • Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. 
  • Hanover Fox International / ECI Group 
  • Harvey Hohauser & Associates
  • Heidrick & Struggles
  • Hightech Partners
  • Hobson Leavy / Panorama 
  • Hodges Partners
  • Hoffman & Associates / IIC Partners
  • The Hunter Group / Panorama 
  • The Insight Group
  • InterSearch
  • Johnson Partners
  • Kaneko & Associates
  • Kaplan Partners
  • Keniff Leadership / Panorama
  • Kincannon & Reed
  • Leathwaite
  • Major Executive Search
  • Morgan Young
  • The Companies of MPI
    • Furst Group
    • Salveson Stetson Group
    • NuBrick Partners
  • Odgers Berndtson
  • O'Neill Consulting
  • The Onstott Group
  • Pekarsky & Co. / Panorama 
  • PFM Executive Search / Panorama 
  • Phelps Group / Panorama
  • Raines International
  • Royer Thompson
  • RSR Partners
  • Rudish Health
  • Russell Reynolds & Associates
  • Saxton Bampfylde / Panorama
  • SEBA International
  • Second Line Advisors
  • Sheffield Haworth
  • Silvester & Company
  • Spencer Stuart
  • Stanton Chase
  • Talengo / Panorama
  • TRANSEARCH International
  • Vetted Solutions / Panorama 
  • WittKieffer