A new voluntary code of conduct covering boardroom appointments has been announced by the executive search community as a response to the Davies Review of Women on Boards published in February 2011.

The code includes recommendations to improve the number of women on company boards in FTSE 350 companies in the UK. There are seven key principles to improve the representation of women on the boards requiring search firms to consider:

  • Succession planning to ensure a balance of experience and skills to maximise the board's effectiveness.
  • Reaching diversity goals by comparing the overall board composition with the agreed goals on gender balance and whether recruiting women directors is a priority.
  • Placing significant weight given to relevant skills and intrinsic personal qualities and not just proven career experience to extend the pool of candidates.
  • That at least 30% of candidates on long lists are women or be able to justify to the client why they are convinced that there are no other qualified female options.
  • Providing appropriate support by offering to prepare candidates for interviews.
  • Putting appropriate weight to instrinsics rather than over-valuing certain kinds of experience.
  • Advising candidates on processes to allow new directors to settle quickly into roles.

For further information follow this link: Leading Executive Search Firms' Voluntary Code of Conduct