By Karen Greenbaum, Forbes Council Member, and President and CEO of the global Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC).

C-level executives around the world are concerned their organizations aren’t ready to drive change in key business areas including diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); digital transformation; and sustainability, according to my organization’s latest survey of 1,000 C-suite executives. In that same analysis, executives cited culture, bias and leadership as three of the greatest barriers to achieving gender equality. While these reasons are inhibiting development, they are also the key levers for a diverse and inclusive culture.

C-level executives and board members must be adaptable and agile to thrive in a post-pandemic business environment and drive necessary change. If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is business leaders around the world must learn to quickly adjust their behavior, pivot company strategies, learn new skills, shift from physical to virtual and take on new responsibilities at a moment’s notice. The crisis has also shown us that people hold business leaders to higher standards than ever before, with 68% expecting them to step in when governments fail to fix societal problems, reports the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer.

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