Gender diversity remains a hot topic as companies strive to improve female representation in key Board and Management positions. The competition for top female talent is intensifying as a result, and we at Henley are increasingly being asked to assist companies in their drive to identify and attract female executives.

Companies want to know how they compare with competitors and to better understand the pool of talent available, and Henley is able to assist on both counts. We are regularly asked to carry out Mapping to submit female-only or female-dominated talent pools. In many cases we are then tasked with building a talent pipeline of female executives – this involves instigating and continuing a dialogue with such executives from which we can gain valuable insights including their view of our client company as a prospective employer. At the same time we can introduce them to our client if they are interested in current or potential future vacancies. Taking a genuine interest in people even if there is not a role vacant at present is a genuine statement of seriousness and commitment to building a relationship.

Recently we undertook a research project for a major global fmcg company who were keen to know how they compared with key competitors in terms of the number of female plant leaders they had. By surveying all the global production sites of 26 competitors we were able to provide key data – how others were performing, what career routes such female leaders had taken, the incidence of internal promotion to top roles, and so on. At the same time we delivered a global talent pool of over 100 female leaders already operating at the top level or the level below. Now, whenever and wherever our client needs to recruit, we are ready to make contact with interesting candidates, saving time and recruitment costs in the process.