Boyden Executive Search

How Boyden Switzerland strengthens efforts to improve gender diversity on boards, actively recruiting and supporting female executives.

By Eva Bachmann

Boyden Switzerland advises clients on increasing objectivity and professionalism in their board composition, addressing the skills and abilities required of board members, and elucidating the benefits and impact of diverse boards.

We actively recruit female executives, as they are less inclined than their male counterparts to put themselves forward for board memberships. We also offer guidance and support to board members without prior board experience, helping them to position themselves effectively and get up to speed quickly.

Underscoring these practices, we have contributed to writing as well as committed ourselves to adhering to the 11 principles of the Code of Conduct outlined by the Swiss Employers Confederation. We have reengineered our processes and implemented additional steps that enable us to proactively capture relevant data and analyse the profiles of female executives for board potential. Further, we consistently address gender diversity in briefings, and encourage and offer guidance to female board candidates throughout the selection process.

Through these focused efforts, 93% of our longlists include female candidates, resulting in 48% of our shortlists being diverse. Female candidates on shortlists have a remarkable 85% chance of ultimately being placed on boards. We have found that the main driver in promoting gender diversity on boards is a combination of systematic endeavours that enable qualified female candidates to advance from longlist to shortlist.

In total around 40% of our board placements are female. It is our ambition to raise this figure to 50%.

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