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Search firms define best practices to support gender diversity in board appointments

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Singapore's Diversity Action Committee (DAC) has partnered five leading executive search firms - Egon Zehnder, Heidrick & Struggles, Korn Ferry, Russell Reynolds Associate and Spencer Stuart - to define best practices in recruiting board directors, including those to support gender diversity.

SINGAPORE'S Diversity Action Committee (DAC) has partnered five leading executive search firms - Egon Zehnder, Heidrick & Struggles, Korn Ferry, Russell Reynolds Associate and Spencer Stuart - to define best practices in recruiting board directors, including those to support gender diversity.

Among other practices relating to board composition and renewal, broadening the candidate pool and selection criteria, evaluation and selection of candidates and follow-up integration work, the statement also says that search firms should help to rectify the under-representation of women on boards.

Search firms should ensure that 20-25 per cent of the candidates presented are women, and aim to have clients interview at least one qualified woman candidate, the statement said.

This is the first initiative the DAC, chaired by Singapore Exchange CEO Magnus Böcker, has rolled out since its formation in August 2014. It was appointed to build up the representation of women directors, following the recommendations of the Diversity Task Force.

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That task force had been formed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development to examine the state of gender diversity on boards and in senior management in Singapore, and its impact on corporate performance and governance.

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