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Happy 6th Birthday…

Audeliss 6th birthday
This month, Audeliss began its 7th year of trading. I can’t believe we’ve been operating for SIX years and how quickly that time has flown by.

From our beginnings in 2011, we have seen waves of rapid growth and success in spearheading diverse representation at the very top of businesses.

Here are some highlights from our sixth year in business:

A selection of our diverse appointments….

House of Lords Chairman’s dinner….

In February 2017, Audeliss were delighted to host a Chairman’s Dinner in the House of Lords held in partnership with The Rt Hon. the Baroness Prashar CBE. Following the recent Parker Review revelation that 53% of the FTSE lack a single non-white Board member, the event provided a rare opportunity for thought-provoking discussion on driving ethnic minority diversity at Board level.

Manjit Wolstenholme, Chairman at Provident Financial Group Plc spoke about her personal experience as an ethnic minority leader on a variety of Boards, and Baroness Prashar drew on invaluable insights from her 45-year career across the not-for-profit and public sectors to lead the conversation on driving diversity and inclusion.

Spreading the word….

I’ve been fortunate to speak on a range of panels, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion, at events around the world including:

Unprecedented diversity initiatives….

This year, we launched the HERoes Champions of Women in Business Lists in partnership with the Financial Times, to celebrate female leaders and those driving gender equality in business. With a judging panel including Helena Morrissey, Founder of the 30% Club, Mellody Hobson, CEO of Ariel Investments and Chair of DreamWorks, Sir Philip Hampton, Chairman of GSK and Mark Wilson, Group CEO at Aviva, the inaugural lists will be published this September.

Expanding our team….

We have welcomed additions to our team in the form of Senior Researchers Louise Gore, Sarah Haynes and Lesley Payne and Client Development Manager Annette Kiely. Adding decades of expertise to our existing skills and experience enables Audeliss to expand its reach and spread our work across a variety of industries and functions.

One thing I know I’m guilty of as a CEO is not taking the time to reflect on our achievements, and maybe that’s my fear of failure and complacency, but I have to say I’m incredibly proud of Audeliss and the difference we’re making.  We’re determined to level the playing field for the top jobs in business for female, ethnic minority and LGBT+ candidates.

We would like to thank all of our fantastic clients and candidates in helping us continue to make the world more inclusive for everyone, one step at a time.

Unique Opportunity: Executive Assistant to Founder & CEO

Unique Opportunity: Executive Assistant to Founder & CEO

A unique opportunity has arisen for an Executive Assistant (EA) to closely support the Founder and CEO of two innovative organisations passionate about putting purpose before profit and creating a level playing field in the business world.  Audeliss is a boutique executive search firm specialising in senior diverse candidates and the second company leads three initiatives: OUTstanding, a professional membership organisation for LGBT+ business leaders and executive allies; EMpower, which champions the achievements of ethnic minority business leaders; and the HERoes Power Lists that celebrate female leaders and those working to support gender equality in business.


Are you:

We want to hear from you!

We are looking for an experienced and exceptional EA to provide 1:1 support primarily to the Founder and CEO of both Audeliss and OUTstanding, with additional office management and ad hoc support to the team. Teamwork and cultural fit are key to the role, and it is vital that the Executive Assistant shares and upholds our values and beliefs.

The core duties of the Executive Assistant comprise of:

The Executive Assistant must possess:

Get in touch with us to find out more – contact Suki Sandhu, Founder & CEO on 020 3405 6910 or ceo@audeliss.com. You can meet our current teams here and here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Audeliss Team Strategy Day

Women’s History Month 2017 – The Need for Gender Equality In and Out of the Boardroom Remains Ever-Pressing

Women’s History Month 2017 gender equalityA week ago today, the world marked International Women’s Day 2017: a day for celebration of the economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally. But with gender equality a long way off, the focus on women’s rights and representations demands more than one day.

Although the past few years have seen many recent wins for women’s rights, including the Liberia election of Africa’s first female President, women receiving the right to vote in Saudi Arabia and the celebration of all that has been achieved in the 100 years marking the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement, gender equality in the workplace is still staggering far behind:

With March 2017 also commemorating Women’s History Month, the plethora of available data and the globalisation of our societies provide an ideal opportunity to examine and address the workplace inequalities experienced by women in every country. All UK organisations with over 250 employees will now be legally required to publish their gender pay data in an effort to accelerate the closure of the gender pay gap.

Last week saw the launch of the HERoes Champions of Women in Business initiative set up by our Founder and CEO in Audeliss, a power list dedicated to celebrating the leaders who have helped drive the female talent pipeline, elevating others during their rise through the ranks. The recognition of female role models across industries will help to give young women the visibility of what true success looks like, with the tools that will empower them to create their own opportunities.

We take gender diversity in business incredibly seriously and this is about creating a level playing field for minorities so they too get the chance to secure the top jobs in business.

To quote activist and youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, ‘We cannot succeed when half of us are held back’. With men and women across the world working together to stand up for human rights for all, we are already on the way to making our world a better and more inclusive place for everyone.



Diversity of Thought: Why Interim Managers are Key to Inclusion & Innovation

nterim Managers Thought Diversity Article Exec Grapevine Interim Guide Feb 2017

Diversity appears to be under-represented in the interim world – the Institute of Interim Management (IIM) reported that women make up just 28% of the interim managers surveyed in their 2014 annual report, with no recent statistics on other minority groups – however, the disappointing lack of diverse interim managers does not mean that interims cannot bring diversity to businesses. Conversely, interims are perfectly placed to instil the increasingly popular practice of diversity of thought.

Audeliss were interviewed by business publication Executive Grapevine on the host of benefits that interim managers can bring to diversity and inclusion across industries and sectors. Our article in the new Interim Management Guide 2017 outlines how to identify whether your organisation is at risk of stagnation and could benefit from diversity of thought, and how to achieve real diversity and inclusion with the help of interim management.

Follow the link below to read the full article:



#OscarsNotSoWhite – But Why does Diversity in Film Matter to Inclusion in Business?

Diversity in Hollywood and BusinessThis week’s Academy Awards caused its fair share of controversy, but also celebrated some fantastic wins for diverse talent in the entertainment industry, with female, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic), LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Oscar winners including:

Zootopia, which won for Best Animated Feature Film, is also notable for its pro-diversity script – its narrative packs a powerful message about acceptance and inclusion, teaching children that difference is not a weakness, but a strength – and nominees for 2017 also included BAME actors Ruth Negga, Octavia Spencer, Naomie Harris and Dev Patel. Whilst the 2017 Oscars was the most diverse in history, the increased recognition of BAME talent in entertainment stands in stark contrast to the struggles for racial equality throughout the rest of America and indeed the world.

With ethnic minority talent representing only 4% of FTSE 100 CEOs, UK and US business is poised to learn a great deal on diversity and inclusion from the arts and entertainment sectors. The music industry is over-representative of ethnic minority talent, and as reported in a recent research study from Audeliss, 30% of ethnic minority role models work in the entertainment industry.

In a world where diverse people across the globe face prejudice and discrimination every day – where female and LGBT citizens are losing their rights under Trump and Putin, racial hate crime is soaring dramatically and unarmed black Americans are five times more likely than their white peers to be killed by the very establishment that is supposed to protect them – all positive representation is a cause for celebration, an opportunity for further progress and a chance for young diverse people to use role models to starting building their own success.

The 2017 Oscars serve as a powerful reminder that we are moving towards greater visibility and recognition, but that there still is a long way to go in achieving diversity and inclusion in business. The historic victory of Moonlight over La La Land – a story of finding love and acceptance by being your true self, triumphing over a narrative where the talented leads must sacrifice their relationship for their careers – proves that diverse or not we are stronger together, and that ultimately, love wins. By continuing to champion diverse role models from all backgrounds and career paths and by celebrating our differences, we are on the way to making our world a better and more inclusive place for everyone.


Audeliss Hosts House of Lords Chairman Dinner on Ethnic Diversity Board Representation

HouseOfLords-Feb2017-web-_DSC1700[1]Audeliss were delighted to host our Chairman’s Dinner at the House of Lords, held in partnership with The Rt Hon. the Baroness Prashar CBE.

Following the recent Parker Review revelation that 53% of the FTSE lack a single non-white Board member, the event provided a rare opportunity for thought-provoking discussion on driving ethnic minority diversity at Board level.

Manjit Wolstenholme, Chairman at Provident Financial Group spoke about her personal experience as an ethnic minority leader on a variety of Boards, and Baroness Prashar, whom Audeliss recently appointed as Non-Executive Director of Nationwide, drew on invaluable insights from her 45-year career across the not-for-profit and public sectors to lead the conversation on driving diversity and inclusion.

The guest list comprised of Chairmen, CEOs and Board level executives from the UK’s leading organisations.  They provided a variety of experiences and insights, informing a passionate and inspiring conversation. Whilst discussion involved the merits of mandatory Board targets and anonymised CVs, the final consensus favoured education of the benefits of diversity and inclusion, with agreement that allies and role models are vital in helping to pave the way for increased ethnic minority representation in senior leadership.

Suki Sandhu, Founder and CEO of Audeliss comments, ‘I am thrilled with the success of our Chairman’s Dinner, and would like to thank all those who attended and provided us with their stories and experiences, which delivered a highly engaging and enjoyable debate. With inspiring leadership and true commitment to diversity and inclusion, we continue to move closer to a future where Boardrooms are fully representative of our diverse communities.’

For interest in our future events, keep an eye on our Events page and subscribe to our Blog.

Audeliss Team Expands

Audeliss Diverse Executive Search Team ExpandsAudeliss are delighted to announce the latest addition to our team.

Our new Senior Researcher Lesley Payne has a strong background in recruitment, with over 15 years’ experience across risk, threat, company secretaries and governance research.

Lesley’s expertise also covers public sector search and she has worked with leading global companies including Novartis, Pfizer, esure and Interserve and local authorities including the City of London.

Lesley comments, ‘I am excited to begin my new role. Audeliss are unique in the search and interim markets; the opportunity to help drive diversity and inclusion at the top of the business world felt like an ideal fit for me. I am thrilled to be part of such a progressive and pivotal initiative and look forward to making a real difference to both clients and candidates.’

Chris Bernard, Managing Director at Audeliss comments, ‘We are incredibly pleased to welcome Lesley to Audeliss. Lesley has a wealth of experience and will be a fantastic addition to the team.’

Mental Health – The Last Diversity Taboo?

mental health diversityRecently participating in an event supporting a pioneering mental health campaign, Audeliss were impressed with the Lord Mayor’s 2016 Power of Diversity programme and in particular, the openness and inclusivity with which leading senior professionals were willing to discuss the topic of mental health.

Whilst awareness and acceptance surrounding mental health have increased rapidly over the past few years, businesses are often reluctant to engage their employees in related discussions, further contributing to the existing social stigma and devastating effects of mental illness. The Power of Diversity programme reveals the shocking and saddening results of its recent survey on the business and personal impact of mental illness:

When it comes to this often-overlooked diversity strand, London and the South East of the UK are amongst the most progressive British regions, but mental health remains a taboo topic across many industries, regions and countries.

There is a wealth of information evidencing the damage done to diverse employees who are uncomfortable being themselves at work – LGBT+ employees who can be out at work are 32% more productive than employees who hide their sexuality – allowing us to only imagine the benefits to be gained by supporting employees who suffer with mental health problems.

With increased awareness of the importance of mental health support, how can businesses become more accepting and inclusive of their diverse employees?

Suki Sandhu is the Founder and CEO of Audeliss.

We Want You!

Team Recruitment I am delighted to say we’re growing in Audeliss and we need you to help us in finding the best diverse talent.  Are you a:

If so, we want to hear from you!

At Audeliss we pride ourselves on delivering excellent services to each and every client and candidate and we constantly strive to improve even further, meaning we are always open to new talent.

My team and I are interested in speaking with talented senior researchers and strong recruitment consultants with a background in any industry, whether executive search or interim management.  You may also be working in an RPO or in-house at the moment and a HR professional who wants to make a move into a dynamic and fast-paced environment.

Audeliss are looking for the right skills, experience and attitude of an individual who shares our passion for making a difference – not only in terms of quality of service, but the core values of diversity and inclusion to which we are committed.

With 65% of our appointments being senior diverse candidates, Audeliss is incredibly committed to driving diversity at the very top of businesses.

I also launched OUTstanding (www.OUT-standing.org) and UPstanding (http://audeliss.com/about-upstanding/) which drive inclusion for LGBT+ and ethnic minority communities.  With a combined reach of multimillions all over the globe, our initiatives constantly strive to make the business world more diverse and inclusive for all, regardless of background.

Get in touch with us to find out more – contact Chris Bernard, Managing Director on chris@audeliss.com or send me a message directly.   You can meet our current team here who I am proud to say are very diverse themselves.

Please share this post to spread the word and if you know someone who may fit the bill, please ask them to make contact with us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Suki Sandhu is the Founder and CEO of Audeliss.

Audeliss Announces REC membership

Audeliss Recruitment REC memberAudeliss are delighted to announce that we are now a member of REC.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is the professional body for UK recruitment businesses. Passionate about recruitment and services of an excellent standard, REC membership serves as a mark of quality to represent the exceptional executive search and interim management providers that truly value the interests of clients and candidates alike.

Our REC membership reinforces the commitment to candidate care that forms Audeliss’ core. We value each and every candidate, regardless of background, and recognise that every individual has a unique set of needs and therefore requires a bespoke service – we strive to deliver excellence for every candidate and client, to match the right candidate with the right role, every time.

Chris Bernard, Managing Director of Audeliss, comments, ‘We are proud to announce our membership of REC. As a prestigious and respected recruitment membership body, REC’s values are closely aligned with those of Audeliss. We look forward to a successful partnership as we continue in our mission to help diverse senior candidates and drive diversity and inclusion in business.’

3 Easy Ways to Improve Gender Equality in your Boardroom

Equality in the BoardroomFollowing the latest FTSE350 gender diversity recommendations from Women on Boards, Audeliss agree that ‘A Gentle Touch is Too Feeble to transform the Boardroom’: and it’s not women who need to change.

With C-Suite gender equality over 100 years away, we must take drastic action to level the playing field – and fast. Business is full to the brim with excellent female candidates, and although gender still presents a barrier to professional success, companies have the power to attract, retain and develop senior female executives and champion gender diversity across their organisation.

Here are Audeliss’ top tips for improving gender equality in your Boardroom:

  1. Lead from the top – getting commitment to gender equality from your CEO and senior stakeholders will help drive change, and awareness and support will ricochet down throughout the organisation
  2. Tailor your recruitment practices – anonymise CVs and therefore prevent discrimination and unconscious bias towards female candidates, and ensure your business has a robust hiring process that is welcoming to, and inclusive of, people from all backgrounds
  3. Collaboration – work with external partners who specialise in improving diversity at the senior level, who can provide an objective viewpoint and help deliver a strategy for positive change that is bespoke to your organisation.


Chris Bernard is the Managing Director of Audeliss. Contact her at chris@audeliss.com


Audeliss Announces Latest Addition to our Team

Audeliss Executive Search TeamAudeliss are delighted to announce the appointment of Alasdair Brown as Resourcing Business Partner.

Serial entrepreneur Alasdair previously spearheaded Champions Life Academy, a national social enterprise combining charity fundraising with graduate leadership training. In the last eight years the initiative helped 880 people from a variety of backgrounds into employment, and raised a total of £12million of forecast income for their charity clients.

Alasdair also launched Blue Stern Recruitment in 2011, and will be applying over a decade of business expertise to build on Audeliss’ broad networks and generate new opportunities for success.

Alasdair says of his new role, ‘I am thrilled to be joining Audeliss. Having seen the organisation’s achievements over the past five years, it’s clearly a huge driver for diversity and inclusion and mirrors my own aspirations not just to talk about change, but to proactively champion and support the success of diverse talent. I am looking forward to working with the brilliant team at Audeliss and to making a real difference.’

Suki Sandhu, CEO and Founder of Audeliss, comments, ‘We are delighted to welcome Alasdair into our team. Alasdair’s wealth of experience will prove invaluable in helping our clients and candidates and continuing in our journey to make the business world a more diverse and inclusive place.’


Congratulations to Audeliss Researcher Alex Wyld

Audeliss executive search and interim management teamWe are delighted to congratulate our Researcher Alex Wyld on her one-year anniversary with Audeliss.

In her year with us, Alex has worked on a variety of interim management assignments and executive searches. Her skills have proven invaluable in sourcing senior female, BAME, LGBT+ and other diverse candidates for global businesses and public sector organisations, with successful appointments including:

Alex says, ‘I am thrilled to look back on my career at Audeliss so far: I feel privileged to have worked with leading organisations and to be able to make a difference to the lives of some truly exceptional diverse candidates. I’m lucky to work with a group of people who are not only genuine, intelligent and creative, but fantastic at what they do. I look forward to the year to come and the opportunity to work with an even wider range of clients and candidates.’

Audeliss CEO and Founder Suki Sandhu comments, ‘We are pleased to congratulate Alex and immensely proud to have her on our team. Her dedication to candidates and diligence in fulfilling client needs helps ensure that we provide services of only the highest standard. We are eagerly anticipating further success from our team and look forward to another fruitful and enjoyable year for Audeliss.’

New Job: Interim Head of Marketing

digital-marketing-1563467Our client is a truly ground-breaking investment management firm who have enjoyed phenomenal growth due to their success and are innovative and disruptive in the market.

We are looking for an exceptional Interim Head of Marketing who can hit the ground running and inspire the talented marketing team, whilst having the creativity to tell the very different story of this business.

The Interim Head of Marketing will:

The Interim Head of Marketing role is ideal for someone to make their mark and be involved with a genuinely different proposition in the market.

To apply for this exciting role please contact Senior Researcher Sarah Haynes at sarah@audeliss.com. 

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Business BAME Role Models: Latest Research White Paper from Audeliss

lack of ethnic minority BAME business role modelsAudeliss is proud to launch our latest research white paper on the shocking lack of role models for BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) people in the business world, and explore the way forward to achieving greater racial diversity.

Earlier this year our UPstanding initiative reported that only 4% of FTSE 100 CEOs are not white, despite the BAME community making up 14% of the UK population.

Our research revealed that:

Read the white paper here

Visible role models are vital, both to increasing the awareness of opportunities for BAME individuals and in empowering organisations to value diversity and foster inclusive workplaces.

In the coming weeks, we will be following up the ‘what’ with the ‘how’: a thought leadership piece exploring how senior executives can attract and retain excellent diverse talent, ultimately achieving increased business success, through championing diverse role models.

You can download the free white paper here and read more about the impact of diversity and inclusion here.


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2016 Emmy Awards are Most Diverse Yet – But at What Cost?

Emmys Diversity InclusionMonday night’s Emmy Awards celebrated some fantastic wins for diverse talent in the entertainment industry, with female, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic), LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Emmy nominees and winners including:

However, whilst the above achievements suggest that actors of ethnic minority background are achieving greater visibility and recognition for their work, and the media and public alike are celebrating with the hashtag #EmmysSoDiverse, the Emmys have also presented some worrying signs that suggest progress in achieving racial equality has stalled – and in many ways is rapidly worsening.

One immediately noticeable trend involving the BAME winners and nominees is that the majority of the actors were nominated and/or won for their role in The People vs OJ Simpson: a television show focused on the criminal trial of a black man suspected of brutally murdering a white woman. This is problematic in itself but also points to wider issues in the entertainment industry.

The People vs OJ Simpson has received a wealth of critical praise and in terms of racial diversity is leaps and bounds ahead of the American television industry on average, with a fantastic opportunity to showcase non-white talent that resulted in a brilliant diverse cast. However, the show is based on real-life events and all characters are based on real people, of whom a large proportion are black or have an ethnic minority background: from the very beginning the show necessitated, and executives specifically sought and cast, non-white actors.

The disappointing element of the increase in racial diversity is that, although inclusion of BAME actors is always a welcome step towards greater diversity, it was not achieved in this instance because of a proactive attempt by businesses to tell original stories of three-dimensional BAME characters or to open up opportunities for diverse actors. OJ Simpson has more black cast members than other shows only because the story could not have been told without black actors. This then begs the pivotal question:  Is diversity still progressive – and beneficial – when lacking in diverse intentions?

The seeming progression of increased BAME representation also stands in stark contrast to the struggles for racial equality throughout the rest of America. The real-life OJ Simpson trial in the early 1990s shone a spotlight on institutionalised racism, and provided a powerful platform for previously unheard voices to raise awareness of criminal justice bias and police violence against the black community. But more than two decades on, what has really changed?

Though people with ethnic minority backgrounds have won increased legal rights and protections, BAME people across the US, UK and the world still face discrimination every day. Activist groups such as Black Lives Matter argue that police violence against the black community has actually worsened – in America, unarmed black people are five times more likely than unarmed white people to be shot and killed by police.

Whilst entertainment businesses are taking positive steps towards diversity and inclusion, there is a still a long road ahead for greater racial diversity across industries: in the UK,  just 4% of CEOs of FTSE 100 companies are BAME. The opportunities available to actors of ethnic minority and the worrying representation of BAME people in the media reinforce the need for visible role models and increased awareness of the importance of diversity. By championing diverse role models from all backgrounds and career paths and by celebrating our differences, we are on the way to making our world a better and more inclusive place for everyone.

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