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How to Think Differently

A Focus on DEI is Increasingly Important in Executive Searches

March 24, 2022

In the News

The Boston Business Journal article, A focus on DEI is increasingly important in executive searches, by Grant Welker, featured commentary from Isaacson, Miller Partner Rebecca Kennedy on the critical importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion, in executive search. Find excerpts from the article below.


Would-be CEOs once had to demonstrate, above all, an ability to lead and grow a company. That's still a priority, but more and more executives are also being expected to show their devotion to diversity and inclusion initiatives, according to executive search experts.

Companies now want to take on racial equity and justice issues, and they expect executives who make that a priority too.

“It has been quite a change,” said Rebecca Kennedy, a partner at the Boston firm Isaacson, Miller. “These questions used to sort of fall toward the bottom of the process, like how it would be a ‘nice to have.' We would have to encourage companies to bump those up earlier in the process, and now they’re naturally there.”

Even as headhunters see more demand from search committees, polls show that working executives’ priorities aren't shifting as quickly as their employees'.

Changing role

“It used to be enough to say, ‘Look at these numbers,’ or ‘Look at our board,’” Kennedy said, describing what share of, say, executives or board members might be minorities. “We’ve gotten better. Now people are asking for more information and clearer signs of commitment.”

Read the full article here.

A crowd of people from above.