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Search Firms


2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index

The 2020 Women on Boards movement was launched in Boston in 2010 and became a nationwide campaign in 2011. The goal was to raise the percentage of women on corporate boards in the United States to 20% by 2020. The 2020 WOB strategy was a grassroots campaign that reached out to stakeholders, middle managers, and customers, inspiring calls for change from both outside and within firms.  

“Larger companies continue to outperform smaller companies in diversifying their boards. In the 100 largest companies on the R3000, 294 women hold 25.3% of the board seats, an average of 2.9 women directors per board, similar to last year’s results…In smaller R2001-3000 companies, 868 women hold 13.0% of board seats, or 1.0 women director per board, up from 0.9 in 2017.”

30% Club

The 30% club began in the UK in 2010 and has since expanded globally to twelve other countries including Australia, Brazil, Japan, and the United States. The 30% club’s goal is gender balance on boards and in senior management. The 30% club does not encourage quotas to reach gender balance, but champions a voluntary approach involving “collaborative, concerted, business-led efforts.” The purpose of this strategy is to promote meaningful, sustainable change, enthusiastically enacted to both promote better governance and optimize business performance.

“The U.S. 30% Club launched in June 2014 with a goal of achieving 30% female directors on S&P 100 boards by 2020. Today, 26.9% of S&P 100 directors are women, up from 20.2% at launch. Additionally, all S&P 100 boards have at least one female director. Even more encouraging, the US membership has achieved an average of 30% women on their boards, up from 21.7% when it launched – a testament to what business leaders are able to achieve when they commit to driving change.”

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Egon Zehnder

Egon Zehnder is a leadership advisory firm, specializing in executive search, board advisory, executive assessment and development, and diversity and inclusion. The firm has 68 offices in 40 countries and values long-term relationships with clients that can last decades.


Nurole is a global talent network of c. 30,000+ business leaders in 100+ countries. We combine traditional search expertise with technology to help organisations find the best talent at board and C-level. We source talent via i) our network ii) their recommendations (which accounts for 50% of placements) and iii) our in house, traditionally trained research team. In the last few years we’ve placed c. 600+ people on boards.

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Russell Reynolds Associates

Russell Reynolds Associates is both a search firm and a leadership advisory firm. In addition to finding the right people to fill executive and board roles, Russell Reynolds develops customized growth strategies to help organizations grow and thrive in an increasingly complex business landscape.

“Diversity of perspective does matter. Having a broad range of collective attributes, rather than overlapping or redundant qualities, helps the board significantly in fulfilling its responsibilities of providing good corporate governance and strategic oversight…Diversity of perspective leads to more innovation, better risk management, and stronger connections with customers, employees and business partners.”

Spencer Stuart

Spencer Stuart provides executive assessment, leadership consulting, and executive search and recruitment to clients around the world. Spencer Stuart provides the insight that organizations need to hire, develop and promote the right leaders, and offers advice that measurably improves the performance of their top teams and boards.

“For the second consecutive year, women and minorities composed half of the incoming class of S&P 500 directors. But progress on the diversity front was mixed. Female directors made real strides, while male minorities saw their advancement in the boardroom slow. Ongoing low turnover in U.S. boardrooms continues to slow down the advancement of women and minorities on boards.”


Athena Alliance Executive Development Program

The Mission of Athena Alliance is to accelerate gender diversity in the boardroom by making the connections that make the difference.

The Athena Alliance offers a wide network of qualified women and works with CEOs, nominating committees, and search firms to present exceptional candidates for director consideration. Athena also provides advice, coaching, and support to aspiring directors, as well as opportunities to apply for open board seats.


Founded in 1962, Catalyst has been working with corporations and business leaders for decades to advance women in the workplace. Catalyst’s focuses include: building inclusive cultures; reducing unconscious bias in hiring, recognition, and promotion; and advising organizations on creating diverse boards. Catalyst hosts an annual Awards Conference, webinars on a variety of topics, and in-person events all over the world.

“Most S&P boards are still dominated by men. Only 33% of boards have at least three women directors in 2018. Women were only 24% of directors in 2018, up from 22% in 2017 and 16% in 2008. Only 17% of directors at the top 200 S&P companies are people of color, no change from 2017.”


theBoardlist is a curated talent marketplace for business leaders to recommend, discover and connect highly qualified women across industries with private and public board opportunities. Potential candidates need to secure their nomination through Endorser Members of theBoardList. Once accepted, theBoardList facilitates connections between these candidates and organizations looking for members, called “Searchers.”

World Trade Center Seattle

The World Trade Center Seattle (WTCSE) is part of the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), the largest international business association with affiliated World Trade Centers around the globe. WTCSE membership benefits are both regional and global.

The World Trade Center Seattle offers networking opportunities to business professionals in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest. Members gain access to the WTCSE’s facilities, as well as to member-only events, social events, and to the WTCSE’s business matching service.