Episode 115

Exploring the Evolution of Boardroom Diversity, with Charlie Beasley

Mar 10, 2021 | Boardroom Bound

The key to innovation lies in unique perspectives.

About this episode

Unique perspectives are the key for organizations to innovate. In today’s episode, we discuss the evolution of diversity in the boardroom and the impact that will result, as we welcome Charlie Beasley to the show.

 

Charlie is a London-based consultant at the global executive search and leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder where he is a part of the Global Board practice in addition to his work advising clients across the consumer sector and with professionals focused on corporate reputation – from communications to legal, risk and regulatory. Having grown up in Australia, Charlie joined Egon Zehnder following a career as an antitrust lawyer, working in corporate affairs in the retail sector and after 5 years as the Chief of Staff at the global law firm Linklaters. Charlie is a founding member of Egon Zehnder’s LGBTQ+ and allies community ez+ and is playing a key role driving Egon Zehnder’s efforts to increase both visible and non-visible diversity on Boards and in senior leadership positions around the world. At the heart of this is helping senior leaders “bring to life” the significant leadership strengths they bring to organizations that are linked to their diverse identity and experience.

 

In today’s episode, Charlie shares his experience finding the perfect board members while at Egon Zehnder. He also weighs in on how diversity and inclusion is evolving in the boardroom and the key ways that organizations are benefitting from it. You won’t want to miss this episode of Boardroom Bound.

 

Click here to listen now! 

  
Subscribe & Review in iTunes

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode. I’m adding bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Liked this episode? I would be really grateful if you’d take 30 seconds to leave an honest review in iTunes. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read. Plus, I love to give shoutouts on the show to everyone who submits a review. Just click here to review, tap “Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. 

Let’s Get Social! 

I absolutely love connecting with listeners on social media. I’m most active on LinkedIn. (And yes, I do personally post and respond to my accounts!)

This is a great way to hear my latest thinking, get the inside track on new products, and occasionally see a picture of my adorable toddler. 

Transcript

Alexander Lowry (00:00):

Boardroom bound episode 115, exploring the evolution of boardroom diversity with Charlie Beasley. [inaudible] Charlie Beasley. Welcome to the boardroom bound podcast.

Charlie Beasley (00:53):

Thanks very much. Glad to be here, Alexander.

Alexander Lowry (00:55):

Well, for me, this is good fun, because it is a small world after all. So here I am over in America, sit near Boston and your background growing up in Australia. Now you’re working in London. So we are talking about the boardroom space, multinational companies. This is something that resonates all over the world. So glad to be hearing about what is going on today. And of course you were working at probably one of the top five firms. And everybody listening to the show wants to know about Egonzehnder is one of those names that we’re all thinking like, gosh, if I can get someone like Charlie to have me on their radar, I would just be set in. It’s not as simple as that. We’ll talk about that today, but I would love to, if we just start the show by talking about your career beginnings, because you didn’t come overnight to be working Egan’s in or working with some of the biggest and most important companies in the world. So give us a bit of background.

Charlie Beasley (01:38):

Absolutely. So Egonzehnder, as you mentioned that we are that one of the world’s largest executive search and advisory firms, and we have quite a unique hiring model. We, we don’t hire anyone who’s ever done this work before. We’re all late in life apprentices. And it usually happens in quite a strange way. Someone from Egonzehnder asks you to join and you’ll get responses got, who would want to be a head Hunter. And then we started a low interview process and getting indoctrinated might be the way of describing it. But yes, I I started my career as an antitrust lawyer. I sort of fell into it into a fabulous organization, but then was hired into one of our clients to join the government relations team and had a great couple of years there. But then there was still a bit in each to scratch moving overseas.

Charlie Beasley (02:25):

So I took a role with a big global warfare Linklaters, but that really confirmed that I was probably, I really didn’t like being a lawyer. I was to do it in a different environment. I realized I was probably the wrong mix of laziness and anxiety in combination. So I was always wrong about getting it, always worried about getting it wrong, but never liked the actual legal work to get it right. And then an opportunity came up, they kind of ultimately played to my strengths, which was the chief of staff to the global managing partner of the firm. And that gave me five years of helping run probably one of the largest and premier Logan’s in the world, sort of doing everything from government relations to helping their executive run, to, to being at the right hand guy on a plane for most of my life for five years.

Charlie Beasley (03:09):

And it was in that context, I came across the Adrian vendor and and really that was a lovely moment for me because it realized we’re playing to what matters, which is I love client service. I love really helping people, but fundamentally I’m really interested in people. And these jobs is all about from my perspective, helping organizations, but particularly individuals really crossed out the next step in their career and really helping them fly and, and having had a father who actually was a management consultant, I, he always would come home and talk about how he’d helped individually. He wouldn’t talk about how much money he made, but how much he’d helped them solve their problems. And, and ultimately that’s what I get to do every day. They go to vendor

Alexander Lowry (03:53):

And, and we should give a little bit of context because I imagine for someone, a new person to this show, listening to it as like, okay, if someone like a Charlie knew about me knew what a great candidate I was, they’d be able to take me out to the boards and the seats would open up because there are talking to organizations, but let’s be clear because it’s the organizations that hire you. How does that sort of relationship work even at, just at a sort of 30,000 foot high level about finding a board candidate?

Charlie Beasley (04:17):

Yeah, absolutely. So we we are mandated by by companies. So that will need to be the chair or the company secretary or someone in feminine nominating committee approaches us. And that’s usually because we have a long standing relationship with large organizations. And they will say to us, we have this particular need either immediately, or they’ll be looking at succession planning or there’ll be looking at some other activities they’re doing. And we are mandated to leverage our network and our research to go out and find the very best we are always interested in cultivating and building our net relationships with exceptional individuals. But when the rubber hits the road, we are very much about working for the company identify, assess, and, and partner through a search process to help them find the very best. So yes, you want to be on our books, but also we’ll come and find you as soon as we have the right thing. So it’s kind of a bit of a combination of the both

Alexander Lowry (05:16):

Russ Reynolds on the show many episodes ago. And he of course founded two of the big companies. We tend to think about in this space. And I was asking him like, personally, how do you think about, you know, how you go out and find people? Do you want people to come to together? I don’t need anybody to come to me. I’m going to go find somebody that’s our job. We’re very good at doing that. We know exactly who to call and they will give us the shortlist of people. And it was very confident about it because he’d clearly done it for a long period of time. So even though the world has changed so much when say when the industry first started now that you’ve got LinkedIn and other resources, right at the fingertips on your computer at the end of the day, it’s still about individual contact. And it’s really important that you guys have your fingers on the pulse, which is why so many of the Egonzehnder staff have come from so many different corners of not only the world of where they work, but different sorts of.

Charlie Beasley (05:58):

Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s about research, but it’s also about building long-term relationship. Because ultimately we are often approaching candidates that and that actually aren’t necessarily looking for the next board Rolodex opportunity and actually it’s sort of that row. And so we have to know, when is the right time? What is the right type of things? So it’s not quite as transactional as I think sometimes it can perceive, we actually have basically the Eagles in the model where out our entire compensation system and stuff is very different to the rest of the industry. I think we build up very long term relationships, so we know the right roles to approach people about. And the other thing I would say is there is a bit of a role for us ensuring that we’re constantly out meeting great new people and high potential talent particularly in the area of more diverse hiring where I think actually we have a real responsibility to ensure that talent that may not be putting themselves their hands up for things are also being thought about, but also thinking themselves that they could be potential board candidates, which obviously we can get onto Alexander.

Charlie Beasley (07:07):

So I go, right. We will find you, but don’t be surprised we often do this, like getting to know people without a mandate in mind.

Alexander Lowry (07:14):

Of course. And I think the other big part of it is there’s a short long-term thinking just like you said, filling a board seat now versus later, but I realized there are also different rules around the world about this. But if we take, say a public company in America generally they’re not publicly posting somewhere that they’re looking to fill a board seat for a variety of reasons. They don’t want people to know that. And hence why they’re encouraging people like you to help us find the right person in a very sort of confidential, but yet sophisticated way.

Charlie Beasley (07:42):

Yes, don’t be surprised if occasionally it comes across as a little bit quick and we’ve got no noise or agreement itself. Then we have to have some quite hilarious conversations before we’ve entered into those kinds of slightly more confidential chats where we say, so I need to talk to you about an, a, an opportunity in a sector that looks like this feels like that without giving any details. It can often feel a little bit existential and abstract sometimes till we get into details. So I think trust that when, when someone approaches you about that, it’s usually because it’s interesting.

Alexander Lowry (08:15):

And I guess I would also say when someone approaches you about that, even though it sounds a bit nebulous, perhaps is that always take those calls and always be helpful to someone like Charlie who reaches out to you because it doesn’t matter if you’re a fit for that individual one today, when you’re thinking about building a long-term relationship, that’s a two way street. You’re not just saying, Hey, Charlie know about me and remember me. It’s like, you know, Charlie, what can I do for you? What can I open up in my network? It doesn’t sound like that’s a fit for me, but if you tell me a little bit more, let me see if I can think of a couple people for you. I imagine that’s always a welcome response to the call as well.

Charlie Beasley (08:44):

Yeah, absolutely. I think people should not discount the power of human connection and just unlocking things. And I mean that in a really practical a lot of the, the role of a search firm is actually also calling out people and actually just asking what good looks like from their perspective and things like that. There’s lots of ways to stay active in the mind of search firms without necessarily being a candidate. One is taking that call and actually offering up a couple of names and thoughts. You know, those offering an informal background reference on someone that plays hugely in your favor in terms of ensuring that you’re front of mind for things. It’s also an opportunity for you to show how good you are. And I’ll give you an example when taking a reference on someone in the post and giving a he’s a fabulous reference giver.

Charlie Beasley (09:37):

That is a really good sign, actually the strength of their engagement, their level of curiosity around others and things like that. So there are lots of ways in those slightly more informal way to sort of show how good you are, but also those conversations with us that aren’t necessarily going to be for the right role. I really hopefully building that understanding of where we should be approaching you. And what about, and, and just one final thing I should say, it’s not uncommon for us to say John or Jane. Look, it’s been great getting to know you. Would you mind letting us take maybe one or two invol references on you which is a really great way of building out our understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and brand in a way that actually also helps you because you’re then a pre referenced candidate that can probably much more quickly ended up being a long list and short list for search. So you take it a lot when people take out Kohl’s, but hopefully it’s also a way for you to get a little bit of practicing. You know, actually how you talk about your strengths and kind of where you want to go in your, in your board career or executive career

Alexander Lowry (10:44):

Context. And Charlie, I think that’s almost a perfect segue because you guys have your finger on the pulse of, of so much that’s going on. And one way is you’re sharing that information with what you’re seeing with other people, for example, like the report that we’re going to talk about today is your 20, 20 global board diversity track. I know this is a biennial report, so you’ve done this for 16 years. You’ve had eight reports going on and it’s changed a lot within this last report cycle. So it will be very exciting to talk about it. So traditionally you’ve reported on gender, which has been very helpful, but now you’ve added a racial, ethnic LGBTQ. So there’s so much more information to impact in there. And even before we start to get in at the higher level over say the 16 years that report, what a board member who is qualified looks like has changed so much. Can we sort of talk about that almost joking about what it used to be before versus what it might be now?

Charlie Beasley (11:34):

Yeah, Alexander, I think that’s, that’s very true. I think you often the hood that idea that they just diversity was CEOs from a different sector. And then, and then gradually within credit diversity from a functional perspective and, and and things like that. So we have a broad concept of who’s qualified to be on the board, but I think as our global board diversity tracker is sort of pulling out is we are really starting to see or be with them in the foothills in many ways that brought a concept of identity and experience joining the board. And that’s something we’re really excited about. I think there is clearly an under representation globally all diverse talent at board level. And I think we are just really introduced a tracker to actually highlight kind of where we’ve got to and not in a negative way, say, look, isn’t that terrible, but it’s also to highlight the opportunity to really lean in and make difference. And I’m a bit of an optimist. So I kind of think, well, look how much we can still achieve, and maybe that’s naive, but it’s kind of the way I approach it. And I think it’s one of the reasons that it’s really good just to have the data out there. So there’s a bit more of a shared understanding of what still needs to be done.

Alexander Lowry (12:50):

And it is really interesting when we think about the trajectory of diversity in the boardroom, it was originally the strongest push was for gender diversity and that was something we could easily see in say a public company’s annual report of, of what that was starting to look like. We can also see whether their say racial, racial diversity from the photos, but there’s a lot you can’t tell from some that are, whether they’re, you know, a veteran LGBTQ disability, things like that, socioeconomic backgrounds when might’ve come from, but all of that clearly can add interesting perspectives into the mix, the skills and values that someone brings. And I, my personal view is it’s very hard to innovate if you don’t have diversity of thought around the boardroom. So there’s a lot of value someone can bring. And I know you’ve got some really interesting statistics that show some of this. Clearly, some countries are doing better than others overall, but maybe we can begin to dive into a bit of this and see some of the information that you’re sharing in this year’s report.

Charlie Beasley (13:41):

Yeah, absolutely. And I just had a little bit of background about the report. I mean, this is based on the data that we’ve pulled together from about 1700 companies. We sort of where the market cap is sort of significant, so more than 6 billion euros. And so it kind of covers about 44 countries. And I think some positive news you know, we asked things like gender diversity, cause obviously that’s kind of orchard been a traditional focus. You know, 89% of all large company boards in our report include at least one woman. But that is kind of not geographically consistent. So some countries sort of not doing so well where there’s still many, I think there’s about 25 countries from China to Brazil to Germany. We still have too many companies that have no women on the board.

Charlie Beasley (14:37):

But then other countries like New Zealand, I think that they’re sort of smashing it out of the park in terms of, I think you’re at 46% or something. So it’s very geographically specific in terms of the, of progress that’s been made. I think one about observations as a firm though, is you do often see these, you are seeing the increasing gender diversity on boards, where there are kind of a target and whether that be company targets or investor led targets or you know, things such as that, that has really helped drive these forward. But I suppose from our perspective, we think you’re not really going to stop seeing the institutional cultural change. If you stop at just one female director or two, it’s sort of, you need, you need more. To actually

Charlie Beasley (15:37):

I think it’s just keeping, put it in there is that idea though, that actually, if you put it on one, it doesn’t matter what element of diversity we’re talking about, but if you make it all about that one person, you are putting a huge amount of burden on them to kind of represent all sorts of things. We actually in the queries, whether or not you’re actually going to be able to can any one person do that on their own and also to drive cultural change, you need, you know, you need wing men and women around you, and actually you want people who are going to help gender, right? That active discussion and debate that you get from having different perspectives, just asking one person to do it, I think is probably a little bit much

Alexander Lowry (16:19):

I’ve, I’ve talked to several female directors who talk about how the culture changes immediately when a first one was put on a board, but then changes dramatically more as you see the second and third come along. It Sheryl bachelor is on the show, talked about, well, there’s no more Martinez during the lunch. As soon as the first female was on the board and the conversations begin to change, these are good things.

Charlie Beasley (16:37):

Yeah. And I think the other thing that I think we’re quite looking at is where you get real sort of the next elevation or the next step in that changes when you actually start to have that those women or other diverse candidates actually take on the leadership roles on the board. So whether that be taking committee leadership roles or chair roles you know, cause ultimately then they’re starting to really shape the way the board is operating. They’re striving to shake the way the board is built. And I think we’re still very much go away to go here. I mean, I think it’s only about 2% of all board chairs are women up from 1.5 in, in 2018. And I bet you are seeing a lot more women sort of start to take board committee leadership roles. It will be about the perching sort of 28% now. But I think that’s a, that’s a demonstration to where you’re going to start seeing more systematic institutional change in the kind of diversity of the board is that EVC more people taking on those leadership roles.

Alexander Lowry (17:41):

And so Charlie, how do you feel about some countries have been very good about say legislating quotas, if we want to call it that or you’re starting to in America. So some of the exchanges are saying we would like a board to have a minimum of say one woman versus one other diversity type candidate with a racial, sexual orientation things. Do you feel like that’s the best way for this to go in order to get diversity in the boardroom or is the, is the thought process would be better if organizations could just handle it and push it forward themselves?

Charlie Beasley (18:11):

I think if we look at base principles, I think our view is it’s all about a sense of commitment, that sense of mindset and a sense of how we going to drive progress. Whether that’s done by quite as a target is not something that we have a fixed view on. I think my personal view is targets are really helpful largely because you know, it’s a little bit like even putting out these tracker report. It actually gives us until the, you know, the performance versus opportunity and in the absence of some kind of measurement in the absence of some kind of aspiration, it’s not a surprise that this kind of stuff falls down the wayside. I think one question I have is when you haven’t made it about quotas is there’s always a risk that people feel like when the quarter is hit, well, the job is done, right. And I do wonder whether or not we’re doing any service to people. If they say, look, if we get to 30% of a particular type of a diversity on a board that went done, cause that’s not what this is about. This is about continuing to challenge yourself to ensure that the board is representative is diverse in its thinking is inclusive in its approach. And ultimately that’s defined by whether or not you’ve got to set a number. Having said that just to get enough momentum, I think targets are a really good idea.

Alexander Lowry (19:33):

And I know in your report you highlight, you know, for example, you’re talking about how female directors is an easy thing that’s been tracked for a long time. I think it’s eight of the 18 countries. I know report have quotas of the 18 that have met the tipping point of average of having three or more female directors on the board. But when I step back and think about, so there was great progress over the last few years, some of it mandated some just sort of pressure applied to organizations from shareholders and others wanting to see this. But also when I think about what we’ve gone through in the last year with the coronavirus crisis, it has really forced organizations step back and say, do we have all of the skillsets we need on the board? I think one example. And I’d be curious if you’re hearing about this to say, chief HR officers are in such high demand that people go, wow, we need to think about how we manage our talent so differently and who are the right people to have in the room to be thinking about how we engage with our customers, with our staff, et cetera.

Alexander Lowry (20:19):

And I imagine that is be becoming a bit more of a door pushed, open a bit to say, do we have all the people you need in a room? What could that look and feel like

Charlie Beasley (20:28):

Very much so particularly in the context of, you know, some of the really striking social issues that have come up in the last last 12 months, there’s been a real question about what con, you know, do we have people that really understand how to great, great organizational culture? Do we, the right people that really understand some of the kind of you know, socioeconomic tensions that have existed, do we have people that really understand how to drive digital transformation when we’ve had to shift from a completely physical model to an online model almost overnight. And so you have actually seen much greater I think awareness of the skill capabilities or not have some bullets. And I think that is something that we are seeing people really having to, you know, being open to, to different candidate profiles. I mean the fundamentals of what makes a great board member you know, it still will need to be satisfied, but I think there’s a recognition that that is there’s a lot more than that happens. Boards haven’t been dealing with in the past that they probably should be. And that does create opportunities for people who come from the slightly more functional roles that you were talking about.

Alexander Lowry (21:42):

And in China, what I always find so interesting is we are, I’m going to say seeing progress in the boardroom in terms of diversity. And I think at a much faster pace generally than the C-suite and certainly perhaps the most important seats in the C-suite. And I imagine some ways, that’s also a bit of a pipeline problem to get into the boardroom. If you’re not seeing as much growth into, you know, traditionally people have said the CEO and the CFO are the most important roles and you need those on a board. You may just not need five of each of them on the board. So it is part of this sort of a chicken egg thing, how you make one happen without the other.

Charlie Beasley (22:14):

I think sort of, and this goes a little bit to what I said earlier about building long-term relationships. I think a lot of our role is sometimes translating individuals to organizations and vice versa in the sense of it’s, it’s building up the understanding of why a particular functional expertise or capability can make someone a great board member. There’s often a little bit of a, we have to get the organization to kind of get their head around that, but we also need people from those functional roles to also start thinking about how do I position myself and my experience in a way that makes me a credible board member. So it’s, it’s a little bit of continuing to make sure that we’re building awareness on both sides and challenging each other to think of creative ways to ensure that everyone understands that you might want these different type of talent, they don’t look and feel like someone that you previously had, but why that’d be great contributed to the board.

Alexander Lowry (23:19):

And so Charlie help us imagine what it’s like when you’re having a conversation with a nominating governance committee, and they’re saying, we need a new board member and he probably looks, feels, and sounds like this. And they’re probably leaning on your expertise of having recruited different people to maybe some of their competitors or there places in the industry. And you probably have a bit of an opportunity to beginning to help shape, like, well, maybe we just need to find these certain skillsets. We shouldn’t pre imagine what that person going to be when they come in. How does that actually look like before you actually go out and start finding the candidates?

Charlie Beasley (23:51):

Yeah, that’s actually one of the things that we spend a lot of time with organizations is actually sort of whether that’s waking with the chair or the nominating committee or the company secretary or whatever is actually going well, what is the strengths and weaknesses of the board both now and in the future and actually going and always doing that mapping exercise, because once you do it in that way and you depersonalize it, it creates much greater opportunity to then start saying, well, what kind of capabilities could we look to build in here? What kind of cultural add do we need, or that would benefit the benefit the organization and by approaching it that way, it does give us a bit more of an opportunity to then start saying, okay, well, if you think about just what kind of things would look great on the board that becomes much less about, have they, do we need a former CEO, it becomes, we need someone with really strong digital capability. We need someone who really understands the cultural change agenda. And then that can start shaping candidate profiles rather than looking at. We just need someone who’s done this, something like these some way before. So in doing that, I kind of think that’s how some best practice approach to them sort of opening up the discussion about, okay, what would great look like for your next board hire?

Alexander Lowry (25:12):

And maybe this begins to answer that long age question when people were beginning to talk about how do we diversify the boardroom said, well, we’d love to have female directors, but we can’t find qualified candidates or insert whatever type of person we’d like to have in the candidate. We can’t find the qualified ones. I’m sure part of the answer is like, well, you call the guns in, or they’ll find the right person, but there there’s a little bit of some background that we need to get over across that point. Or is that something you guys go, no problem. We’ll take that. We’ll solve that. We’re really good at that. How do you help organizations think about that?

Charlie Beasley (25:42):

The, the way we think about it, he’s really focusing on the potential of the candidate. So if someone says to us, look, we want X and Y am. I have to have VC experience, you know, a whole list of must haves. You know, that’s where we have a bit of moment of truth compensation that says, well, on the one hand, you say you want to diversify and have a more inclusive board, but at the same time, the way you’ve written these roles, it’s only people who’ve ever done exactly what you’ve done would actually ever pass your kind of injury boss. We often sort of end up having a conversation about, look, you better, having less must have, you can have some nice to have, then you actually start having a conversation around, but let’s, let’s go abroad. Let’s actually look for people that might hit some of your criteria, but not all of them, but really dive deep on their potential to grow that capability or bring something different.

Charlie Beasley (26:49):

And that was the other thing is we really look to take quite a strong partnership approach. So part of that is not just saying, well, we’ll go and find you exactly what you want. It’s going to be are, we’re going to go on a bit of a journey with you to kind of find what, what good could look like in slightly different ways. And let’s jointly commit to being doing a search whereby you actually agree to interview some talent that doesn’t necessarily take all the boxes, but we think brings something else and might particularly support some of your Mo they brought a diversity ambitions. I think there’s a slight there’s a really interesting dynamic emerging at the moment of a lot of companies saying we demand particular diversity now shortly for long ways. And that is, you know, frankly, it’s a little bit like targets.

Charlie Beasley (27:38):

It’s really having impact in terms of pushing things forward, but it’s not going to achieve what it, what it is hoping to eat. The organizations actually doing those border executive hires. Don’t equally commit to flexing their requirements to actually interviewing candidates that bring potential, but maybe not all of the capability. So one of the things that’s quite important is early in the search process is to have some agreed terms of engagement around the site. You are going to say you know, don’t just, short-list the candidates to tick all of the boxes and ignore all of the ones that don’t, you also need to, as an organization, be open to challenging yourself. And so we’ll often probe and push clients to, to meet that slightly off spec, but interesting high potential talent that may bring something different.

Alexander Lowry (28:32):

And I, I guess I imagine there are people listening to this episode going, okay, so I’m a first time board member potential. Like I’m excited about that, but there’s this whole old problem of how to get experienced, how to job, how to get a job, that experience sort of in the boardroom. We’d like someone who’s been there and done it before, but especially as you start thinking about bringing more diversity in the boardroom by definition, we will have more people that haven’t been in that board space before. And I imagine there’s a bit of a conundrum for some organizations going like, well, it might’ve made it on the candidate list, but they haven’t checked that box. You’re sort of getting to that. And I imagine part of that is also helping candidates be coached up and be ready to figure out how they add value to the boardroom explained that during the interview process, right?

Charlie Beasley (29:09):

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there’s a couple of comments to make that one of the great screening questions for a board process is actually asking someone, what do they think a great board director doesn’t look like a way for a candidate to really answer that well, as to say that they’ve spent quite a bit of time talking with other directors and she really understood what the role involves because that is a way of, yes, if you haven’t had a role, you can at least show that you are thinking and acting like, you know, like a like a good director. So I would just suggest that’s one of the ways to demonstrate your awareness and understanding of, of what is, what is involved. But it also shows that you’ve gone out there and being curious and try to understand kind of what good looks like in your way. So I think that’s probably a way to sort of enter the conversation if you don’t already have the experience. So yeah, so that, that’s probably what I’d say on that point. I like sound up

Alexander Lowry (30:10):

Well, Charlie, from reading the report myself, there’s some great information in there, wonderful statistics, good nuggets by people that are involved in the space, whether they’re in the C-suite in the company and are on the board and leadership roles. And we appreciate the work that you guys are doing, raising awareness of this, both of the organizations and at the candidate levels and trying to advance people at the end of the day, the more diverse people and their skill sets and backgrounds we have in a boardroom. I think the better outcomes we will have for, for organizations that is a wonderful thing. Now, Charlie, we have to make sure we cover this point before he finished, because I’m many people listening, going to Charlie’s exactly. Kind of person I want to know. And so not that we want to flood your, your LinkedIn inbox, but what is the right way generally, would you teach people to think like, okay, I want to be known in executive search firms. I want to reach out maybe finding the right person, of course, within the organization. What would that actually look and feel like to you as a recipient, to someone to say generally, like this is the way you should go about building a relationship?

Charlie Beasley (31:05):

I think I would stop we’ve don’t just think about the search funds as the way to tap into the board world. I think part of it is ensuring that you having the discussions that I just mentioned with other directors about where you get a chance to share with them some of your experience, but then, then ask them, how did they go about becoming a director? What makes them a great director, those kinds of things, because that increases your network in a way that your attitude to you, because you’re actually asking the questions and, and, and getting an understanding. It also shows you a very curious about others, which is a nice way to get people invested in you. I think ensuring that your CV is, is kind of on the net, on the system of people, such as Egonzehnder or firms such as Egon Zehnder, which we enable people to drop their CVS in.

Charlie Beasley (31:59):

And, and that also helps because it comes into our database. So we will be looking don’t hesitate to reach out to search firms. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but just, don’t be surprised if I say thanks so much for being in touch. We’ll certainly be in touch if anything relevant comes up. But I think fundamentally it goes back to having lots of conversations with people around, what do they think a great board director is? And how did they make that pivot? The more conversations you have. It means that as a search firm, when I call one of those people say, who’s great out there, you know, and they might get mentioned, but it also means that you’re more likely to kind of be front of mind for others.

Alexander Lowry (32:38):

You are playing a key role driving Egan’s vendor’s efforts to increase both visible and non-visible diversity on boards. And at the heart of that, you’re just trying to help senior leaders bring to life the significant leadership strengths that they bring to organizations that are linked to their diverse identity and experiences. And thank you for sharing the work that you personally are doing and what Egon Zehnder is doing in this space. And we’re all headed in the right direction. But as we talked about today, more to do, right? So thank you for joining us on the show today, and we appreciate your insights and helping all of us to be boardroom bound.

Alexander Lowry (33:11):

That’s it for this episode of boardroom bound, I really enjoyed chatting with Charlie BZ. It’s always great to get someone who’s willing to peel back the curtain, tell us what it’s like to be an executive search person. Who’s actually helping boards find the candidates and filled them in. And of course, Charlie is one of the leaders that Egonzehnder in terms of board diversity and what that means. So it was wonderful to hear some of his insights from their 20, 20 global board diversity tracker titled who’s really onboard. And of course this year, it tells us so much more than their past versions over the last 16 years. So this bi-annual one, not only talks about diversity, but racial, ethnic, sexual orientation. These are conversations that the board is having thinking about. How do we find the right candidates? How do we open the doors and get people at the right skillsets to come in?

Alexander Lowry (33:52):

We appreciate Charlie also doing that, telling us a lot more stories and what it feels like to be that person who is helping find the right candidates for the organization. Now, remember if you head over to podcasts@gordon.edu, you’ll find links to all of today’s resources, including this survey results know that the boardroom bound team and I are so proud to be your go-to podcast, for all things that connect, prepare, and empower you to land a board seat, be sure to subscribe this podcast and with any of the high quality content that we’re bringing to you every Wednesday. Thanks for joining me today. I can’t wait to share more stories and strategies from brilliant business minds with you again, next week. Remember to keep tuning in, to be boardroom Beth.