Executive Search

Celebrating Women in the Executive Search Recruitment Business

Executive recruitment would not be possible without the involvement of women. Today, more than 51.1% of all executive recruiters are female, with hundreds of women-owned recruitment firms located worldwide. As the industry changes to become more inclusive, executive recruitment professionals remain optimistic that more and more competent female leaders will rise to c-level positions.

As a woman-run executive search firm operating in Chicago and Boston, DSML remains at the forefront of female-driven executive search processes for European businesses in the US. Co-Founder and Director Myriam Le Cannellier has built a thriving executive search firm based on recruiting for European subsidiaries in the USA and proudly creates new opportunities for women in an integrated, multilingual team.

“On this International Women’s Day, a big thank you to the talented women at DSML Executive Search,” says Myriam. “I also would like to acknowledge the women who worked at DSML in the past and have successfully continued their journey somewhere else.”

Myriam celebrates the successes of women in the executive search business and urges those considering an executive career to pursue their passions with confidence. However, she also acknowledges there is still more work to be done for women in recruitment — particularly for female executive search candidates looking for positions in the c-suite.

The Challenges Faced by Female Candidates Applying to Executive Positions

Women are becoming an increasingly prevalent part of executive leadership teams — although growth and change remain slow. Only 10.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, with less than 25% of women holding c-suite positions in any company.

The individual reasons women struggle to reach executive positions remain unclear. However, there are several challenges that remain congruous across industries and nationalities.

Women historically face one or more of the following obstacles on their executive career path:

  1. Career gaps: When women step out of the workforce to have children or care for their families, they may create a career gap that appears undesirable to employers. This prevents some company leaders from considering highly skilled women who may thrive in their executive position.
  2. Business networking: Women may lack access to traditional networking opportunities based on personal or at-home responsibilities. There may be fewer all-female networking events in their area or limited in-person conferences that do not align with their schedules.
  3. Perceived qualifications: While men are more likely to apply for positions if they meet 60% of a posted job’s criteria, women only apply if they meet 100% of all qualifications. Many women are more than suitable for c-level positions, but fail to recognize their ability or feel unable to attempt the application process.
  4. Relocation ability: Some women do not enjoy the idea of moving across the country for work. In fact, studies find women are less willing to move for work-related reasons if they are living with a partner in an existing household. As a result, women may be less open or interested in interregional leadership roles than their male counterparts.

The obstacles that exist between women and the c-suite negatively affects both candidates and businesses. Women are powerful drivers of success in the workplace and are often excellent candidates when recruiting for European companies in the USA.

These insights are more than mere observation. According to studies, businesses with women in the c-suite are more profitable, socially responsible, and safer than those with less gender diversity. Additionally, women are catalysts in shifting strategic thinking for organizations with more traditional views.

Upon appointment to a c-level position within an existing company, women:

  • Position firms to become more open to change while mitigating risks.
  • Focus on internal research and development rather than management and acquisition.
  • Support knowledge-building internally to maintain the edge of competition

Hiring women into your European subsidiary is of the utmost importance — which is why partnering with an experienced recruitment firm can help you source qualified candidates in your industry.

How Executive Recruitment Firms Can Bridge The Gap For Women in the C-Suite

Approximately 15% of women between the ages of 18 and 44 say the c-suite is their top career priority. In order to help talented women find well-fitted positions for their skills, it’s important to connect with an experienced executive recruitment firm to identify impressive resumes and critical soft skills.

Furthermore, it’s critical to remain open to remote and hybrid work scenarios that are increasingly important to US job candidates. Roughly nine in ten women report a desire for remote jobs, which means transitioning to hybrid work could attract highly qualified female leaders to your executive positions.

The professionals at DSML have more than 15 years of experience performing this very task. Women-run and operated by skilled professionals, we assist businesses all over the world in attracting, recruiting, and retaining excellent leaders.

You can speak with the team at DSML at connect@dsmlexecutivesearch.com to discuss your hiring needs. We look forward to empowering your growing facility with the demonstrable leadership of superior executive candidates.

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