Press Release – Fidelio Flags the Business Case for Diversity

London – 8th January 2016 – Fidelio, the Board and Executive Search Consultancy, highlights the business case for diversity, in particular for corporates facing unprecedented levels of complexity and change. In support of this, Fidelio announces two events in the first quarter of 2016 addressing the link at Board and Executive level between increased gender diversity and leadership effectiveness. In January, Fidelio will co-host the seminar “Die Frauenquote and other routes to Board diversity” dissecting the different approaches in the UK and Germany to enhancing Board diversity. In March 2016, Fidelio will hold the second “A Seat at the Table programme at Leeds Castle supporting senior female executives to succeed to the top table and at the top table. Executive Search has a key role to play in promoting diversity at Board and Executive level and these events clearly demonstrate Fidelio’s commitment to enhancing leadership effectiveness through increased gender diversity.

Shareholder activism, anti-business sentiment, increased regulatory pressure and disruptive technologies all represent the escalating complexity and dramatic rate of change facing Boards in early 2016. These complex and seemingly intractable problems are seldom susceptible to “silver bullet” solutions. Instead, Fidelio has argued repeatedly in favour of focussing on who is at the top table as this brings different perspectives and skills to problem-solving. Different routes to increasing diversity have been adopted. In Germany, the Government introduced a quota at the Supervisory Board level and clear guidelines to enhance diversity at the Management Board level. This contrasts with the UK approach of working with much publicised targets and a high degree of accountability for Chairmen.

Die Frauenquote and other routes to Board Diversity

On 26th January, Fidelio is co-hosting a seminar and panel discussion with the German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce, the German-British Forum and Nabarro LLP entitled “Die Frauenquote and other routes to Board diversity”. The seminar will explore the different routes adopted by Germany and the UK and also identify measures that will move the dial. Our keynote speakers are Lady Barbara Judge, the first female Chairman of the Institute of Directors, and Mrs Edelgard Bulmahn, Vice-President of the German Bundestag. Our panel is comprised of highly experienced Executive and Non-Executive Directors who have sat on the Boards of leading international companies across a range of sectors including Carl-Peter Forster, Dr. Marion Helmes, Elisabeth Stheeman and Daniela Weber–Rey. The seminar is by invitation only and further details can be found on Fidelio’s website.

In the UK, the final Davies Report published in October 2015 concluded that UK FTSE 100 Boardrooms had met the target of 25% women (just) but substantially more work needs to be done to increase female representation in the Executive layer. At the Executive level, Fidelio recognises that there are structural obstacles to diversity – but these are not insurmountable.

A Seat at the Table

Fidelio’s A Seat at the Table Programme is designed to develop the female CEOs and Chairmen of tomorrow. Our 2016 programme, to be held at the historic Leeds Castle, on 15th-16th March, follows the successful two-day event held at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in 2015 where we welcomed women from a range of global companies and experience levels. Effectiveness at the Board/Executive Committee table is the focus of the two-day programme, with emphasis on the complexity of shareholder and stakeholder expectations; understanding formal and informal governance and power structures; personal impact and authority; resilience; and networks of support and reciprocity. The talented women selected to participate will acquire recognised, practical tools for success in the Boardroom.
Gillian Karran-Cumberlege, Co-Founder of Fidelio Partners, says: “Our clients are increasingly facing dramatic and disruptive transformation; we support them through Search mandates for roles that are changing, and by developing Boards and leadership teams capable of dealing with complexity. As a Search firm we have a responsibility to increase our clients’ resilience to radical and disruptive change – diversity is critical.”

Please visit for more information on “Die Frauenquote and other routes to Board diversity” and “A Seat at the Table” or contact or Alix Ciraud on
+44 (0) 207 759 2200.

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