The purpose of a diverse board and leadership team is to ensure that there are a range of perspectives providing input on the issues confronting the organization. To achieve this, board and leadership teams need to be equitable and inclusive so all voices are heard, connected, and acted upon.
As demographics change and consumer behavior evolves, there is mounting pressure from the public – customers, stakeholders, and investors – for organizations to build leadership teams and boards to demonstrate that they embrace diversity. The definition of diversity also continues to evolve, as various generations reconceptualize what diversity means to them.
Within the last three years, 83% of our board placements were diverse. Year to date, 88% of the candidates we have placed on our clients’ boards were either a woman and/or ethnically diverse.
It can therefore be difficult to ascertain whether a leadership team or board has enough diverse perspectives. Optics can be as important as substance. However, at RSR Partners, we do not believe in “checking the box” when it comes to diversity. Instead, we consider it our responsibility to engage our clients and candidates in a continual conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion and listen to their responses, concerns, and perspectives – regardless of the position specification. This allows us to deeply understand our clients’ needs and weave a strategy to enhance the diversity of thought represented on their boards and leadership teams into their short and long-term talent development plans. It also affords us the opportunity to develop a profound and sincere relationship with our candidates.
As a result, we can quickly identify leaders who possess the important skills and experience that are relevant to our client’s business, fit well with their values and culture, and who contribute to diversity of thought during decision making. This approach has helped many of our client unlock the innovation, advancement, and optimal performance that can be achieved when diversity, equity, and inclusion is a value, not a visual goalpost. Our goal is to listen, evolve, and approach diversity as authentically as possible. We feel we particularly well-suited to assist our clients in achieving gender and ethnic diversity objectives. We are proud of our diversity recruiting track record which has increased substantially in recent years.