As an Executive Search consultancy, we have a leading role to play in increasing diversity of leadership across the transport, infrastructure and built environment sectors, in regard to diversity of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religion and other protected characteristics.
We have a responsibility to ensure that we do everything within our power to provide diverse and balanced longlists and shortlists, as well as to ensure our own organisation offers a diverse and inclusive culture.
Embracing a Diverse and Inclusive Industry
Newsom Consulting is an equal opportunities employer and is dedicated to encouraging a supportive and inclusive culture amongst both our own and our client’s organisations.
On average 33% of our recent executive searches have been successfully fulfilled with a female candidate. This compares very favourably with the industry; in the top 150 UK Transport and Infrastructure companies only 21% of all Directors are female, with only 7% in core business function leadership roles.
We strive to provide you with a balanced pool of candidates. We frequently offer advice to our clients on how to adapt the role to make it more inclusive and appeal to a wider, more diverse audience.
We commit to providing you with a shortlist of at least 30% gender, BAME or other diverse characteristic representation. If this isn’t possible due to the specific talent pool we are searching within, we will provide you with our findings as to why this is the case. We will also work with you to find a solution that will open up the market to a more diverse pool of candidates.
This may involve flexing the brief, looking outside of your industry, or adapting the role to cater for flexible working patterns, amongst other solutions.
Diversity within Newsom Consulting
As an organisation, Newsom Consulting is progressive when it comes to diversity and inclusion. 50% of the Newsom Consulting team are women, with 17% being ethnically diverse. In having a diverse team ourselves, we reduce unconscious bias by providing an inclusive culture within the workforce.
However, having a diverse workforce is not enough in itself. Managing diversity and developing a culture of inclusion is a continuous process of improvement, not a one-off initiative.
The Standard Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms
We subscribe to The Standard Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms. This policy outlines a voluntary code of conduct which all of our consultants follow:
1. Board Succession Planning: Support Chairs and their nomination committees in developing medium-term succession plans that identify the balance of experience and skills that they will need to recruit for over the next two to three years to maximise board effectiveness. This time frame will allow a broader view to be established by looking at the whole board, not individual hires; this should facilitate increased flexibility in candidate specifications.
2. Executive Succession Planning: Support nominations committees, CEOs and CHR Directors in developing clear, appropriate targets for enhancing diversity in senior executive roles and in developing plans to strengthen the pipeline of diverse candidates.
3. Diversity Goals: When taking a specific brief look at overall board or senior executive composition and, in the context of the business’s agreed aspirational goals on gender balance and diversity more broadly, explore with the client if recruiting women and/or ethnically diverse individuals is a priority both generally and on this occasion.
4. Defining Briefs: In defining briefs, work to ensure that significant weight is given to relevant skills, underlying competencies and personal capabilities and not just proven career experience, in order to extend the pool of candidates beyond those with existing board roles or conventional corporate careers.
5. Longlists/Shortlists: When presenting longlists, try to ensure that at least 30% of the candidates are women – and, if not, we will explicitly justify to the client why there are no other qualified female options, through demonstrating the scope and rigour of the research.
We will then ensure that the shortlist is appropriately reflective of the longlist, discussing with their clients each woman on the longlist and aiming to have at least one woman whom they would ‘strongly recommend’ that the client should meet. We will also discuss and agree with the client and meet specific targets for ethnic diversity on the longlist and seek to ensure that the shortlist is appropriately reflective of the longlist.
6. Candidate Support: Provide appropriate support to candidates to prepare them for interviews and guide them through the process.
7. Supporting Candidate Selection: As clients evaluate candidates, we will ensure that we continue to provide appropriate weight to intrinsic competencies and capabilities, supported by thorough referencing, rather than over-valuing certain kinds of experience. Then, as necessary, we will offer advice on interview process best practice to demonstrate how to reduce the impact of unconscious biases.
8. Induction: Provide advice to clients on best practice in induction and ‘on boarding’ processes.
9. Embedding Best Practice: Ensure that best practices in supporting clients on enhancing board and senior executive diversity are well-documented and shared internally and that adherence to the Code is effectively monitored, including regular training on unconscious biases and how to reduce their impact.
10. Signalling Commitment: Signal our commitment to supporting diversity on boards and in senior executive ranks, and our adherence to the Code, through our website, marketing literature and client discussions. Sharing data on our track record on their website as appropriate and include case studies of their success.
We include diversity KPI’s in all our client proposals, as well as publishing our results so they can see how far we have come, and steps we are taking to ensure that our diversity statistics are always on the rise.
Alongside this we produce an annual Diversity Report, looking at the Top 150 companies within Transport & Infrastructure to analyse how the industry as a whole is doing and how we compare as an organisation.
11. Broadening the Candidate Pool: Seek to broaden our own networks of potential candidates, leveraging as appropriate external lists produced by relevant organisations. Investing time into developing relationships with the pipeline of future female and ethnically diverse candidates.
We are continuously on the lookout for relevant industry groups to join and support in order to broaden our network including Women in Rail, Women in Transport and Women in Construction. Our consultants attend networking events and summits to broaden their networks and to gain insights into how best to attract diverse candidates.
We are also currently working with senior leaders to explore how best to establish a BAME diversity network that will be beneficial to companies and candidates across the sector.
We regularly reach out to our contacts within the industry to get feedback on best practices for attracting a diverse workforce, and to network them for recommendations on our assignments.