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63% of Senior Executives say Diversity and Inclusion is Very Important

Diversity And Inclusion Are Highly Valued By Most Companies, But Sourcing Talent Remains a Key Challenge

NEW YORK, NY, USA, July 18, 2018 / -- According to a survey of 461 global business leaders conducted by IIC Partners Executive Search Worldwide (, companies recognize the advantages and benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce, but struggle to tap adequate sources of talent. 63 percent of senior executives say diversity and inclusion is either very important or extremely important, however, this same majority report their workforces have average or below average diversity.

When asked where companies look to procure diverse talent, 67 percent of senior executives said Human Resources departments and 25 percent said internal talent acquisition teams shoulder this responsibility.

Many companies have exhausted their ‘go-to’ talent pipelines and must take new approaches to achieve their diversity and inclusion goals. Senior executives say the three largest barriers for identifying diversity candidates include:

Unconscious Bias
Finding Diverse Talent
Limited Pool of Diverse Talent In The Industry

Ruth Curran, Global Chair of IIC Partners and Managing Partner of MERC Partners located in Dublin, commented on this trend. “Clearly, companies know that diversity and inclusion programs create a stronger workforce and want to expand these initiatives, but appear at times unable to penetrate the market to find and source this talent.

Executive Search firms serve as trusted advisors and can provide access to larger talent pools across all functions, industries and cultures. Executive search consultants offer a more objective and independent point of view and present a wider scope of diverse candidates for consideration “Curran said.

The supply and demand challenge for creating a diverse and inclusive workforce is further compounded by the fact that 48 percent of companies do not request a diverse slate of candidates when hiring for senior executive roles. Over half (57 percent) of companies have not set any goals for hiring diversity candidates or if they have set goals they will not meet them by their target date.

Christine Hayward, Executive Director of IIC Partners, added, “An overwhelming 87 percent of senior executives agree that diversity and inclusion creates a stronger workforce. Companies are very aware that diversity and inclusion positively impact a business, but are struggling to champion and implement it as a best practice. The lack of benchmarking and goal setting indicates an absence of ownership within the organisation at the leadership level. This responsibility can fall to Human Resources departments, Chief Talent Officers or an external executive search advisory partner. Like any strategic initiative, companies will need to identify a leader or partner to spearhead diversity and inclusion programs to see results,” Hayward said.

The full Diversity & Inclusion Report can be viewed by clicking here.

About IIC Partners

IIC Partners Executive Search Worldwide ( is a top ten global executive search organisation with 50 offices in 33 countries. All IIC Partners member firms are independently owned and managed and are clear leaders in local and national markets, allowing solutions for client's organisational leadership, assessment and talent management requirements. For more information, please visit or contact Christine Hayward, Executive Director, at

Christine Hayward
IIC Partners
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