Executive search firms respond to Davies Review recommendation
One of the recommendations of the Davies Review of “Women on boards” in February 2011 was that:
“Executive search firms should draw up a Voluntary Code of Conduct addressing gender diversity and best practice which covers the relevant search criteria and processes relating to FTSE 350 board level appointments.”
Responding to this recommendation, a group of executive search firms (self-described as “representing 20 leading companies in the sector”) published a voluntary code of conduct on boardroom appointments (the Code) on 22 July 2011. The Code and accompanying press release can be read here (published on the website of MWM Consulting).
The Code contains seven principles, covering succession planning, diversity goals, defining briefs, long lists, supporting selection, emphasising intrinsics, and induction. The most striking provision is that, when presenting long lists of candidates, search firms:
“should ensure that at least 30% of the candidates are women – and, if not, should explicitly justify to the client why they are convinced that there are no other qualified female options, through demonstrating the scope and rigour of their research.”
The search firms behind the Code suggest that it should be aligned with the output from the Financial Reporting Council’s consultation on the Davies Review. We discuss that FRC consultation in this post.
We covered the contents of the Davies Review in February 2011 in this post.
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