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The global Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) and their BlueSteps.com service join forces with the European Commission, leading business schools, corporate women and professional organizations from around the world in support of gender diversity on corporate boards. The announcement has been made at dual press conferences in New York at the Forté Foundation and in Brussels at the European Commission with the European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative.
 
In response to EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding’s and the European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative’s call to action, stressing the positive contribution which executive search consultants can make to promote gender diversity on corporate boards, the AESC is pleased to announce the adoption of a European voluntary Code of conduct for executive search firms, (in appendix) – now valid across Europe.
 
The AESC is also offering all 7,500+ female executives of the Global Board Ready Women (GBRW) database, identified as board-ready by the European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative and the Forté Foundation, complimentary membership to BlueSteps, the career management service of the AESC, developed uniquely for senior executives and board candidates.
 
AESC President, Peter Felix, commented: “This dual initiative is reflective of the AESC’s support for gender diversity in top-level recruitment, and of our members’ commitment in assisting female executives in their pursuit of key board and leadership roles. Through BlueSteps, all Global Board Ready Women (GBRW) will have the opportunity to place their career profiles at the fingertips of 8,000 AESC member executive search professionals who use BlueSteps as a source for their executive and board search mandates. In addition, AESC members will have the opportunity to connect their search mandates to suitable candidates within the Global Board Ready Women database. The AESC is proud to support executive-level diversity in connecting its member firms with female executive talent in this way”.
 
The European Business Schools/Women on Boards Task Force together with the Forté Foundation, who created the Global Board Ready Women (GBRW) database on LinkedIn administered by the Financial Times Non-Executive Directors' Club emphasized that the initiative has now become global in a concerted effort to identify and promote senior women executives and professionals who meet strict criteria, in the effort to create global and diverse corporate governance for the 21st Century.
 
"We have to break the Catch 22 situation where boards can continue to say no to women on the grounds that 'they don't have any boardroom experience'," said Vice-President Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner. "It's time we put to bed the myth that there aren't enough qualified women to sit in company board rooms. There are—and organisations like the Association of Executive Search Consultants are working to prove it together with the European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative, the Forté Foundation, and their counterparts around the world within the Global Board Ready Women searchable database.”

About The Association of Executive Search Consultants
The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional association for the retained executive search and leadership consulting industry. The AESC promotes the highest professional standards in retained executive search and leadership consulting through its industry recognized Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines. For more information, visit www.aesc.org.
 
About BlueSteps
BlueSteps is the executive career management service of the global Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC). BlueSteps puts executives’ profiles at the fingertips 8,000 AESC member executive search professionals who use BlueSteps as a source for candidates for their executive and board search mandates. BlueSteps also offers a suite of career management tools and services exclusively for top executives. For more information, please visit www.bluesteps.com.


Appendix 1

Voluntary Code of Conduct

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