Diversity Debate

13 October 2022

Our 117th Partner Conference was held in Copenhagen.

  • 64% of our consultants are women.
  • 60% of our Managing Partners are women.
  • 75% of our Executive are women.

Our own Diversity & Inclusion gives us a huge and sustainable advantage over our competitors. Gender parity is vital to any workplace - not just because it’s a laudable goal; it simply makes bottom-line business sense.

On Friday morning we held a Diversity Debate:

The event started with some inspiring introductions from our guests:

who shared their thoughts, knowledge, and experiences regarding diversity throughout their own careers and at CXO and Board level.

This led on to a larger group discussion where we debated how Friisberg & Partners must continue to promote increased gender diversity for our clients.

What are the barriers to increased gender diversity in 2022?

  • The "Old Girls’ Network" simply does not exist whereas "The Old Boys' Network" is still very powerful.
  • We should host more networking events, promoting 'old girls' networks and introducing role models and advocates.
  • More women are still responsible for childcare and now, post-Covid, many companies want a return to the office which seems to be disproportionately adversely affecting women.
  • We must continue to strive for parity regarding parental leave and continue to challenge our clients in terms of the incentives they are prepared to offer to attract and retain top female talent.

How are we profiling FPI as a company to women?

  • We need to highlight our own gender diversity and promote our own culture more overtly.
  • We should share success histories focusing on our female candidates.
  • We must continue to innovate in terms of incentives offered to attract the best female candidates.
  • We must continue to help and encourage more female candidates to take the risk in applying for the top roles.

How can we help to remove the barriers which deter women from applying for the top jobs?

  • We need to encourage organizations to promote internal female candidates, so they can become the role models of the future.
  • Meanwhile, mentoring could be a great way of inspiring more women to step up to c-level.
  • Changing mindsets: we must continue to encourage women to move roles more often to build and expand their career profile.

How do we ensure that our clients become better at attracting female talent?

  • Female talent mapping is just one of our great services and we should encourage more clients to use it.
  • We must advocate widening the search criteria - especially in traditionally male dominated sectors such as aerospace, engineering, finance, and IT.
  • In the job specification we should focus on transferable skillsets rather than simply direct sector experience.
  • Educating our clients is imperative to ensure they become aware of the benefits of having a more diverse board and CXO team.

We understand that our diversity is integral to success.

Gender diversity helps us to attract and retain talented women. No company can afford to ignore 50% of the potential workforce and expect to be competitive in the global economy.

We know that only the highest-performing teams, those with different opinions, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds will ultimately succeed in the global marketplace. We encourage different viewpoints, ideas, and market insights, which enables better problem solving, leading to superior performance.

We make sure it enables us to understand the unique needs of our clients and find innovative ways of addressing those needs.

All our teams have a diversity of genders, as well as backgrounds and ethnicities. But we know that hiring women, transgender, or nonbinary people into our workplace isn’t enough. – we empower our teams to not only reach, but exceed their full potential.

We make gender balance our business – and we want to make it everyone else’s business too.


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