Inclusion and Diversity

Unlimited is our philosophy, our commitment and our call to action on Inclusion & Diversity.

What we believe in

At the Odgers Berndtson group, we will always strive for a world of inclusion, diversity, tolerance and acceptance. We believe intolerance is unacceptable and that no one should have to face racism or prejudice in any form. Inclusion and diversity (I&D) is hardwired into our business and, as such, we have made commitments in two areas. The first is to create an inclusive culture and working environment where everyone has a sense of belonging and which ensures equal pay, opportunities and conditions for all. The second is to act on what we believe is our unique responsibility as one of the world’s leading executive search firms and help our clients address their diversity challenges through more inclusive recruitment. Thereby, our goal is to create a more equal playing field for all aspiring leaders around the world.  

Particularly in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, we are committed to using our global voice and network to change social inequality and injustice for good. We have and will always stand with and support our Black colleagues, candidates and clients.

How we’re doing it

We want to improve the level of diversity in all its forms within the Odgers Berndtson group and create an environment where everyone is comfortable being themselves. To this end, we launched Unlimited – a programme of initiatives that embody our philosophy and our commitments to inclusion and diversity. Internally, it includes our Allies – nine groups of volunteers from around the business whose goal is to ensure no one in the Odgers Berndtson group faces racism or prejudice, that we actively improve in all areas of diversity, and create an environment where everyone is comfortable being themselves. These groups are Age, Ethnicity, Gender, Disabilities, Mental Health, Menopause, Social Mobility, LGBTQ+ and Neurodiversity.

We have already taken a number of important steps in the right direction. These include improving our family leave policy so that it more effectively meets the needs of all our people, adapting our promotions process to ensure it offers an equal footing for all, and working with partners such as Leonard Cheshire to create an open and inclusive recruitment process (we are a level 2 Disability Confident employer). We produce an annual Gender Pay Gap report which highlights the steps we’ve taken in the areas of recruitment, internal progression and salary monitoring, and makes recommendations for further action to ensure we are always improving when it comes to creating a fair and equal environment for men and women.

Externally, Unlimited is also our approach with clients and how, by working with them, we aim to shape the future of leadership into a more diverse field. We challenge our clients to consider the parameters of each role, and actively engage with the broadest range of candidates so that we access the most diverse talent pool and recruit the best people.

Why we’re doing it

Simply put, we believe helping to create fairer and more inclusive societies is not just the right thing to do but is part of our responsibility as a global executive search firm. In fact, the moral case for inclusion and diversity is so irrefutable, that we are focused on the ‘how’, not the ‘why’.

Evidence of this ethos is illustrated by our attainment of the highest government accreditation for search companies on gender diversity – the Executive Search Voluntary Code of Conduct, and placements of some notable firsts across the UK. We are also a signatory to the UK search industry Voluntary Code of Conduct and are accredited under The Enhanced Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms for the FTSE 350. We have also contributed and been keenly involved in the Hampton Alexander Review into female representation in corporate boardrooms and our percentage of female placements at FTSE350 board level (51%) exceeds the target set by his Steering Group for Women on Boards.

What’s more, despite government rules allowing companies to forgo gender pay gap reporting in 2020, we felt that is was critically important to continue to provide transparency and honesty in this area and so have published our 2020 Gender Pay Gap report.

Learn more on how we are committed to advancing Inclusion and Diversity in the Odgers Berndtson group and the world at large by reading Inclusion & Diversity to 2020 and beyond.

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