Pure Executive- Supporting balanced representation at Board level

As the movement towards achieving more women in senior leadership positions continues, we have committed to reporting on the gender balance of our Executive placements throughout the Eastern region each year.

Diversity is widely understood to be fundamental to the sustained growth of any business and having a more balanced Executive team will lead to increased future profits. It is therefore positive to see that, at the end of our 2016/17 financial year, over a third (39%) of the roles recruited for by the Pure Executive team were filled by women.

In 2016/17, we placed 28 people in Executive positions across the region. Eleven women were appointed and 17 men. The roles filled by women have varied from Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) and Chairs through to CFOs and HR Directors. Examples include Bridget McIntrye, placed as a NED at Jarrold & Son Ltd, Tracey Goldsmith, placed as a Finance Director on the Board of Stephen Walters & Sons and Gill Patel who we’ve placed as the HR Director EMEA of Envigo.   

This split of board and leadership positions is also encouraging. It reflects the focus of the current Hampton-Alexander Review which, following on from the Lord Davies report, now looks at increasing the representation of women in senior positions overall, not just on boards.

One of the supporting recommendations of the Hampton-Alexander Review is that Executive Search firms continue in their efforts of increasing the number of women in senior leadership positions. At Pure Executive, we have always looked to actively encourage women into senior roles and our placements over the last financial year show that more organisations in the region are committed to addressing their gender-balance.

Diversity and inclusivity is a topic we are passionate about. It is not just an issue for national FTSE companies. It is just as important that the many highly-successful SMEs in our region are also able to achieve the business benefits of creating more diverse senior teams.

We believe there are still more opportunities to increase the number of women in leadership positions in our region. Key elements to achieving this will be through the creation of more balanced talent pipelines for the future, increasing the number of female role models, preventing women from dropping off the career ladder and the development of more inclusive cultures. Organisational culture is particularly significant, a 2016 University of Cambridge study showed that unsupportive workplace cultures are still the most significant barrier to career progression for women. Our Women’s Leadership Programme has been designed to support businesses in all these aspects. It provides employers with a proactive opportunity to help develop and retain their female talent, supports women to strengthen their authentic leadership skills and equips delegates to work with their employers to remove any unconscious bias. Our aim is to inspire organisations across the Eastern region to create rewarding work environments where any barriers to progression are removed and everyone can work in a way that makes them feel productive and engaged.

If you would like to discuss your Executive recruitment needs, find out more about reviewing your organisation’s culture, or if would like more information about our Women’s Leadership Programme contact Lucy Plumb on


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Written by

Lucy Shepherd

Lucy joined Pure Executive in 2014 to help the team with research and admin for executive and board-level appointments. She also helps run and organise events.

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