I recently attended a small dinner meeting with ties to the United Nations, hosted by OpenText, a Canadian software company with a market leading solution for enterprise information management.
Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, President & Vice Chancellor of the University of Waterloo, was a guest speaker that evening, sharing his experience and insights, as well as focusing on his engagement with Impact 10x10x10.
For those not familiar with it, IMPACT 10X10X10 is an initiative that convenes ten Heads of State, ten global CEOs and ten University Presidents to fast-track gender equality in boardrooms, classrooms and world capitals.
Its visionary leaders have all pledged to take action for gender equality in their respective countries and drive change from the top.
Dr. Hamdullahpur, a passionate advocate on the subject, challenged his audience to champion the advancement of the well-qualified women in our ranks and within our spheres of influence. He held up his institution – the University of Waterloo - as an example of pioneering work in academia, which doesn’t just talk the diversity talk, but walks the diversity walk. Under his leadership, highly capable and respected women have been elevated to department heads and senior leadership roles across the university.
Dr. Hamdullahpur encouraged each of us to focus on what we might do within our personal spheres of influence to advance the opportunities for women in leadership. As a group, that evening, we surfaced several collaborative ideas and committed ourselves to continuing the momentum the University of Waterloo has developed.
Of course, at Boyden, we have long valued diversity. Our President and CEO, Trina Gordon, is of course a highly accomplished executive and a recognized leader in the talent advisory and leadership field.
I’m immensely proud to acknowledge the work of Boyden Partners in Canada, who introduced Dr. Hamdullahpur to his position at the university and continue to support him in his endeavor to exceed his goals, which we all share. Boyden is proud to be the only global, retained search firm with a woman leading the firm. Trina Gordon, Boyden’s CEO, sets a standard of responding quickly to industry trends and offering greater value to client relationships. She has always been focused on quality rather than quantity, and providing tangible results rather than abstract ideas and concepts, which, Boyden clients are always telling us, makes all the difference and sets us apart from other executive search firms.
Food For Thought is a series highlighting discussions about candidates, organizations, assessments and boards. Authored by Kenneth V. Mortensen, Managing Partner of Boyden Denmark and Board Director, he has more than 20 years’ experience in the executive search industry.