Diversity in Executive Search and Leadership Consulting
Diversity has long been a cornerstone of the profession, but something changed in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. “It was almost like a sledgehammer to the head, a wake-up call to the opportunity we had as a profession to truly be leaders.” Karen Greenbaum, President and CEO of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) describes what happened within the leadership of AESC. “Clarke Murphy, the CEO of Russell Reynolds, sent me a text at 7:00 am on a Friday. I won’t forget it, with the headline ‘Black Lives Matter’ saying, ‘can we talk?’”
Greenbaum immediately called Clarke back, and within a few days, they were convening a meeting of the CEOs of some of the largest and most influential search firms. “We had eight CEOs who came together, all competitors, all CEOs. We had some of the largest firms in the world represented. We had the largest woman-led firm represented. We had the largest Black-led firm represented. And we decided that what we wanted to do is begin by creating a CEO pledge, pledging the commitment of our member firms to diversity and that we wanted to quickly follow that pledge with action because we knew that a pledge was not enough.”
Since 1959, the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) has set the quality standard for the executive search and leadership consulting profession. Its members are the leaders in executive talent and leadership advisory solutions. AESC facilitates diverse and innovative thinking in global leadership. World-class executive search and leadership consulting firms join AESC to demonstrate their deep commitment to the quality standard AESC represents and to shape the future of the profession. Business leaders worldwide retain AESC members as trusted advisors to minimize risk and gain competitive advantage in their industries.
The BlueSteps Career Management Blog is written with a C-level audience in mind on career management topics ranging from executive compensation, executive resumes, and interview tips to networking, executive job search, and gaining visibility as a professional in one’s industry. The BlueSteps Executive Search Blog links senior executive candidates to actual retained search recruitment insights from AESC member executive recruiters, BlueSteps career advisors and other guest writers.