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Executive Search Code

The Executive Search Code (also known as The Code) recognises the important role of executive recruitment agencies when it comes to achieving more diversity when filling senior management positions. Diversity is a strategic factor for good decision-making and good performance of companies, organisations and governments. Excutive recruitment agencies who have signed The Code contribute towards both a business economics goal and also a societal goal: more women in senior management positions.


Selecting candidates on the basis of both masculine and feminine qualities

Striving towards a minimum percentage of women for a long and short list

Showing that the organisation is working towards more diversity in senior management

Monitoring annually of more diversity in senior management is being achieved


The annual assessment of the Executive Search Code (ESC) in the Netherlands shows what executive search agencies do to make sure that more women are appointed in senior management positions and the results they achieve with their methods. In 2021, the recruitment agencies used 49% as a target for how many female candidates when putting together their long and short list for senior management positions, which was similar to the year before that. When we look at all the candidates that they introduced on a long list, an average of 30% was female. This was considerably lower than the 42% in the previous year. However, the figures show that 50% of all senior managers that were appointed in 2021 are women, compared to 46% in the year before. So relatively speaking, even though fewer female candidates were introduced, more women were appointed in senior management positions in the Netherlands.

These agencies led the way

Would you like to show your commitment?

Sign the code