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New Job: Supply Chain Development Director – Infrastructure

New Job Supply Chain Director InfrastructureLocation: West Midlands

This is an exciting new opportunity for an experienced Supply Chain Development Director to  play a key role in our client’s commercial & procurement executive team, preparing for a high profile multi-billion pound investment programme.

Ensuring the supply chain is engaged and ready for the business’ future plans, planning and analysis of requirements, stakeholder engagement, relationship building and communication are all important parts of the role. Additionally you will be accountable for ensuring that the supply chain strategy is further developed through the use of value chain plans for all key areas. Using these plans you will work through and across the business to ensure support, alignment and delivery of performance, capability and capacity.

The Development Director will:

Person Specification:

Key Competencies:

To apply for the role please send your CV to Louise at louise@audeliss.com. 

New Job: Interim Head of Marketing

Technology Interim Head of MarketingThis is an opportunity for an experienced Interim Head of Marketing to join an innovative company who manage a global network of collaborative industry communities, allowing trading partners to share quality, structured data. Using cloud-based technology, they act as a trusted independent partner to enable buyers to manage risk in their supply chain, and suppliers to increase market reach in their target sector. For the right candidate, permanent employment is available.

Location: Madrid, Spain

The Interim Head of Marketing will:

Previous Knowledge and Experience

Essential Skills of the Interim Head of Marketing:

Personal Specification

To be considered please email Louise Gore at louise@audeliss.com with your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are an ideal candidate for the Interim Head of Marketing role.

#CSuiteSoWhite: Launching ‘The UPstanding Executive Power List’

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One of the biggest topics in global news this year has been ethnic diversity. From University admissions to the Oscars, there is an unsettling sense of regression in the number of visibly successful BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic- including Hispanic and Middle Eastern) people in both the UK and the US- and corporate c-suites are one of the worst offenders.

Our most recent research has discovered that despite BAME communities making up 14% of the UK population, just 4% of CEOs of businesses listed on the FTSE 100 are BAME. The situation is just as bad in the US where although the non-white population make up 28% of the total just 11% of businesses listed on the S&P 100 have non-white CEOs. #OscarsSoWhite? #CSuiteSoWhite!

This means there is just one BAME CEO of a FTSE 100 company for every 1.8 million BAME people in the UK, compared to one white CEO for every 600,000 white people. Looking at the problem from the bottom up paints an equally bleak picture; despite 1 in 8 of the working age population coming from a BAME background, only 1 in 10 are in the workplace. In response to this, we are launching a ground-breaking initiative, ‘UPstanding’.

UPstanding will profile, for the first time, the top 100 BAME business executives from the UK and the US based on their efforts in improving the BAME agenda in and out of work but also their success in breaking through to the top echelons of business.

Are you, or do you know, someone who is living in UK or US and is ethnically diverse, who proves that race need not be a barrier to success and who positively and actively supports the BAME cause at an executive level? If so, please nominate them or yourself for our 2016 UPstanding Executive Power List before Sunday, April 17 by clicking here.

To encourage others to get involved, share the link for nominations using the hashtag #CSuiteSoWhite.

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Introducing the new Managing Director of Audeliss

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As all of you know, I have made it my life’s mission to further the diversity agenda in business. Whether this is through Audeliss, OUTstanding or the new BAME initiative I have co-founded, UPstanding (audeliss.com/UPstanding100), making the world a bit more inclusive is my goal.

But changing the world is a very difficult task and I can’t do it alone. With that in mind, I’d love to introduce you to the newest member of the Audeliss Team; the new Managing Director of Audeliss- Chris Bernard.

Chris is one of UK’s predominant interim management and executive search professionals. She will be lending her 20+ years experience in these fields to leading across all of Audeliss’ practice areas, as well as managing and strategically directing the organisation. She is a specialist in offering intelligent solutions for her long-term clients in executive search, interim management and consulting services. This loyalty is due to her ability to constantly produce creative recruitment solutions and candidates who are ready to capitalise on the opportunities she presents.

Prior to joining Audeliss, Chris was a senior partner and board director at a City-based boutique executive search and interim management provider and before that was Managing Director of the Interim Management business of a multinational HR consulting group.

I’m sure you will all join me in wishing Chris the warmest welcome to Audeliss and you will be meeting her in due course. If you’d like to introduce yourself or arrange a meeting, you can reach her on: chris@audeliss.com

Why #OscarsSoWhite isn’t just about the film industry


Next month on February 28th 2016 the 88th Academy Awards will take place, and this year there has been much criticism and furore into the fact that for the second year running, of the 20 acting nominations- all of them have been for white actors.  This diversity row has resulted in the on-line campaign #OscarsSoWhite, with several actors deciding to boycott the ceremony and the President of the Academy writing an open letter about how “heartbroken and frustrated” she is at the lack of diversity.

Subsequently the governing body of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which is the board officiating the Oscars, made a statement stating that its goal was “to commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020”. These changes will also include 10-year limits on the voting abilities of new members of the Academy, which will be removed if the member is not “active in motion pictures” in the intervening time.

The Academy Awards and the public discourse about them has brought the conversation to the table about implicit bias and the role it plays in what films get made, by whom and the extent to which women and BAME individuals get awarded for their roles in film.

Reading all of the press reports written over the past weeks and following the debate which has played out on the world media stage exactly mirrors what happens daily within the corporate world, in recruitment and search functions, where diverse candidates continually face unconscious bias from those within the recruitment process and a lack of diverse interviewing panels when applying and interviewing for roles. Not unlike the Academy and their recent statement of intent, the UK Government has been urged by Chuka Umunna, the Labour MP and former shadow business secretary to “set a target for ethnic minority representation on FTSE 100 boards to be met by 2020″ following the report in 2015 which highlighted how less than 2% of British directors from FTSE 150 companies are black, Asian or minority ethnic.

Throughout the search process, Audeliss is 100% committed to providing our clients with a concise list of exceptional and diverse talent. Ultimately, we believe it is about the right person for the job, however it is also important that the widest possible net is cast for discovering diverse talent pools and opportunities are presented for all individuals to compete on a level playing field for their chosen career.

We work closely with our clients to ensure that, as the long-listed candidates are sifted through and the focusing of the search process is carried out, where possible, unconscious bias can be challenged and the skills of the candidate are continually matched, different individuals have an opinion into the process- not just the hiring manager, and perhaps those who may not seem an obvious choice are still considered.

Perhaps if the Academy reviewed its nomination process and those judging the criteria, this would allow for a greater diversity of thought around those selected for award nomination. Diversity is far wider than simple demographics such as gender and ethnicity, it is also related to informational differences such as education, experience value and goals.  Research has clearly proven that informational diversity stirs constructive conflict, or debate, around the task at hand and the outcome is that people deliberate about the best course of action.

The Audeliss team is proud to be 100% diverse and our diversity of thought has resulted in 65% of our appointments since 2011 being diverse candidates. We realise that, like others, we still have a long road ahead to increase those numbers, however we are committed to our diversity journey and supporting our clients in developing their own inclusive organisations.

Looking back on a great year

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What a year it’s been for us here at Audeliss; we are still finding it hard to believe what we’ve achieved.

We are not only very proud but equally very thankful to our clients and candidates alike that have joined our journey and for spreading their positive experiences throughout their respective industries.

Highlights of 2015

          – Two new female members on the FCA Consumer Panel

          – One LGBT and one BME trustee to the board of the British Council

          – A female leader into the Group Head of Procurement position at a FTSE 100 company

          – An LGBT female into a CFO role for a FinTech business in Silicon Valley

Next year promises to be equally as impactful for Audeliss as we expand and continue to develop our programme of services, research and events and hope you continue to be such a valued part of it.

Thank you again from the bottom on my heart, and all the best for 2016.

Suki Sandhu,

Founder and CEO, Audeliss


Boardroom diversity risks slipping into reverse if spotlight dims

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The diversity of Britain’s boardrooms risks going into reverse gear over the next 18 months, as the terms of current female Non Executive Directors (NEDs) expire, according to new analysis Audeliss is releasing today on the eve of the final Lord Davies report, which is due out on Thursday.

The latest research shows that the number of female NEDs in the FTSE 100 currently stands at 31.3% of the total. But our analysis shows that female NEDs only average 5.5 years tenure, which means that we are fast approaching a period when many of the current leaders will stand down.

This means that the number of female NEDs will fall to 25.6% by April 2017 if current NEDs follow existing trends and are not renewed in post or stand down due to expiry of their terms. In a worst case scenario this could fall as low as 17%. A similar picture is found when analysing the wider group of 350 FTSE indexed companies.

The situation is compounded by the slim pipeline of female executive talent emerging to replace the current generation of boardroom leaders. The Audeliss analysis reveals that the number of female executive leaders is worryingly low. In the FTSE 100, it stands at 9%. For the FTSE 250, the percentage is 5% and in the FTSE 350 it is 7%.

Our CEO, Suki Sandhu, said, “The data suggests that today’s female NEDs only average 5.5 years tenure, which means that we are fast approaching a period when many of the current leaders will stand down. The question now is ‘who will replace them?’. The female executive pipeline of talent is simply too slim to sustain the progress of the last five years.”

Huge strides have been made to improve boardroom diversity in the past few years. This is a result of government pressure, corporate action, pressure group activity and efforts from executive search firms in sourcing diverse talented candidates. Research has also proven that companies perform better when they have at least one female executive on the board.

But there is no room for complacency, as Sandhu explains, “As the Government spotlight from Lord Davies dims, there is a very real danger that companies could go into reverse gear in terms of their boardroom diversity. Ongoing pressure is needed to sustain and improve on today’s position. “We need companies to focus on nurturing the next generation of female talent with executive leadership programmes and by allowing more flexible working arrangements and other family-friendly policies.”

Helena Morrissey CBE, Founder, 30% Club commented, “I welcome this insightful research by Audeliss – it’s so important that the improvement in women on boards seen over the past five years is sustained, and this new data is a timely reminder of the need to  keep up the momentum and source more talented women who can serve on boards.”

If you’d like to learn more about our analysis, get in touch via info@audeliss.com


Introducing Amanda & Rosco

Today the amazing Amanda joined Audeliss. She’s originally from San Francisco, comes from a property finance & development and technology background and she loves oysters. (She’s the one in the top left photo.)

As well as Amanda, we also have her French bulldog, Rosco, joining us. We’ve always wanted an office dog and he’s a very welcome addition to the Audeliss family too. He’s only going to be part-time initially but if he excels in his responsibilities as internal morale champion, he may quickly get promoted to full-time.

There’s still a long way to go!

McKinsey panel

Wow! If we didn’t already believe in the power and importance of exceptional professionals and diversity and inclusion, we would now.

The dais at the offices of our event partner McKinsey, echoed a unanimous and strong message, with all of our panel in agreement that the diversity agenda has undeniably gathered speed in more recent years but we still have a long way to go.

Denise Collis, former Chief People Officer of Bupa, hit the nail on the head when she said, “There seems to be a check-list of batches of different diverse groups. We need to stop bandying certain phrases around and actually get under the skin of what they mean and how we can promote a working environment where true diversity is encouraged and welcomed.”

Mervyn Walker, former Group Director- HR and Corporate Affairs at Anglo American, also drew attention to the role of board members, commenting, ““What we need to change is the perception that an accountant, for example, will be more valuable on a Board than an HR professional who understands people issues.”

The recent call for diversity in the workplace means that HR leaders are invaluable to success; they need to be champions of diversity if we are to move forward and the presence of HR Directors on Boards as non-executives is thus essential.

Stonewall Equality Dinner 2015

It was a privilege, for the second year running, to take some of our colleagues, clients and candidates to The Annual Stonewall Equality Dinner this week. The event was hosted at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane which looked incredible- very Stonewall. 

The evening opened with Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall, delivering an incredibly inspiring speech, closing with the line “acceptance without exceptions” which was profound and reminded us all why we were there- to raise money for the incredible work Stonewall does in breaking down the oppressive barriers still facing so many LGBT+ people in so many places.

After a wonderful dinner came the charity auction and we won two of our favourite bids; a private viewing of the Alexander McQueen exhibition in the V&A with Gok Wan and dinner with Sir Ian McKellan with one of the guests on my table. A great result and such a great evening.

Here’s to another successful year for Stonewall. Luckily, as it turned out, this year’s dinner was on a Friday night, so no work the morning after… just as well.


Can you trust a headhunted candidate?

Isn’t that a very peculiar question for a Headhunter to ask? I only ask it because I saw it recently mentioned in an episode of the American drama “The Good Wife”. The scene in question was when an intern was being poached by a rival law firm and the senior associate advised her not to go to the competition if you’re being headhunted as the new company will never trust you. Being a headhunter, I was a little taken aback by this and I thought that can’t be true, can it? I’m obviously very biased but I don’t think it means you can’t trust the candidate. For them to consider the new opportunity to begin with means there might be factors in their current role they’re not happy about or the new role was so compelling they couldn’t say no. Or they were persuaded by a very talented headhunter to have the initial conversation and after meeting the client they were “wooed” into the job. This is how the executive search market works, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on which way you look at it. To say you can’t trust a headhunted candidate is very unfair to the candidate in question so to simplify it so crudely is not right. If they’re a good candidate, they will always be approached about opportunities and that’s not their fault. They’ll be just as committed and loyal to their new company until they are headhunted again! 😉

P.S.  Mr Burns from The Simpsons was the only image I could think of to represent a character you cannot trust.  Fortunately, he isn’t someone we would represent at Audeliss.



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