June 27, 2013: AESC Offers Enhanced Access to Executive Search Community for 8,000 Female Executives Identified as Board-Ready by the GBRW affiliated Top Business Schools, Corporate Women and Professional Organizations the World Over

NEW YORK/BRUSSELS – June 27, 2013 – 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, gathered together in the GBRW – Global Board Ready Women initiative in support of gender diversity on corporate boards. The announcement has been made at dual press conferences in New York at the Forte Foundation, a founding member of the GBRW 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 Forte 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 Forte Foundation, who created the Global Board Ready Women (GBRW) database on Linked-In administered by the Financial Times 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 Forte 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 http://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 http://www.bluesteps.com.

About the GBRW- European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative

Started by the European Business Schools/Women on Board Taskforce and supported by the European Commission, Forte Foundation and the Financial Times Non-Executive Directors’ Club, Global Board Ready Women has grown to become a global initiative. Working with more than 180 leading business schools and professional organizations from 70 countries from around the world, the Global Board Ready Women searchable database has been created in an effort to identify and promote Senior Women Executives and Professionals who meet the strict criteria to create a global and diverse corporate governance for the 21st century. The Global Board Ready Women searchable database is on Linked-In and administered by the Financial Times Non –Executive Directors Club.

Contact:
julie.morel.bba@edhec.com and info@gtwn.org

About Forte Foundation

Forte Foundation is a non-profit consortium of leading multinational corporations, top business schools in the US and abroad, and the Graduate Management Admission Council. Its mission is to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, opportunities and a community of successful women. Forte is the leading organization that provides a national infrastructure for women at all stages of the career continuum to access the information, scholarship support and networking connections they need to succeed in business careers. Additional information about the Forte Foundation is available online at http://www.fortefoundation.org.

Media Contacts:
Lisa Westlake Chen Forte Foundation lisa@fortefoundation.org (713) 303-9019
Michele Vana Fleishman-Hillard Inc. michele.vana@fleishman.com (212) 453-2214