14 March 2019
Gender diversity is part of most firm’s talent strategy, yet the overall progress of the financial services industry in placing women in senior leadership positions remains limited. Following our annual review of client work in 2018, we are proud to report that AMC were able to place women in 50% of the executive searches we conducted.
A recent study conducted by McKinsey and LeanIn.Org, Women in the Workplace 2018, has reported the number of women in corporate senior leadership positions continues to be inadequate. This is despite an increased awareness that diversity in senior leadership is essential for an organisation’s success and countless organisations pledging their commitment to increasing diversity.
Financial services organisations want and need their leadership to reflect the customer base they are servicing – and in an increasingly diverse world it is necessary that companies recruit a workforce that will cater for all current and future customers.
Hiring women into senior leadership positions is possible. It simply requires a pro-active approach from both recruiters and clients.
50:50 in 2018:
Placing women in 50% of our searches in 2018 attests to the hard work of our consultants to pro-actively search for diverse candidates. Our track record also shows our recognition of the role recruiters can play in increasing gender diversity in financial services.
Our success in 2018 included placing specialists in a number of different asset classes, functions and levels of seniority. We placed diverse candidates across a range of sectors covering
We hired candidates into roles covering a variety of functions including:
The average total compensation level of these hires was c£300,000.
Roots of our success:
AMC consultants take seriously their responsibility to challenge clients to consider diverse candidates.
For example, from the beginning of every search process we discuss with clients whether diversity is, or should be, a priority for their particular search and ask them to consider a diverse network of candidates. Where diversity is the business-critical imperative we create women-only short lists. Even where diversity is not the primary concern, we ensure that at least 30% of candidates presented are women.
Our experience of working with women candidates has highlighted that there are a number of factors – both personal and professional – that can inhibit career progression. Knowing this, we encourage candidates to be open with these apprehensions throughout discussions so that suitable arrangements can be negotiated that are beneficial to both clients and candidates.
To ensure we are encouraging interest from all candidate pools, we also consistently review the wording of position descriptions and our approach to describing roles to candidates to guarantee that the language used appeals to female candidates as well as male.
In short, our success has been enabled by our recognition that making diverse hires is not just about having a variety of candidates on a short list but includes working with clients and candidates to ensure that individual needs are met for diverse candidates to be hired into senior leadership positions.
Furthering our commitment in 2019:
As a result of increasing our focus on diversity in 2018 we know that to conduct successful and diverse leadership searches it is necessary to go beyond simply recognising the importance of diversity to the financial services industry and to clients.
Instead we must proactively seek out diverse candidates, build relationships and analyse search briefs to identify where an opportunity to increase diversity within a company or the industry more generally exists.
We have learnt that clients are keen to increase diversity within their organisations and that it is very rare that a client would reject the prospect of meeting a diverse candidate. It might just be that due to their current experience or position in the market they were not immediately considered.
To achieve diversity in financial services however, it is also necessary to appreciate that moving one diverse senior leader from one firm to another may help to achieve diversity in a singular organisation, but not the financial services industry. Considering this, we recognise that increasing diversity within financial services requires a multi-faceted and long-term approach. One that seeks to increase diversity in leadership but also at the most junior levels of an organisation.
That is why AMC has begun building partnerships with organisations who work with teenagers, young adults and returners from diverse backgrounds, with the aim that members of the firm will begin mentor future professionals to inform them of the opportunities for a career within financial services. We hope that through working with these organisations our experienced consultants can also provide guidance to those pursuing careers in financial services when they otherwise would not have received such support.
AMC firmly believes that all parties are responsible for the implementation of more initiatives to balance the diversity of senior leadership teams. Our recruitment strategy this year has enabled us to contribute to increasing gender diversity within financial services and we are motivated to continue doing so in 2019.