This week at their annual AESC Global Conference, the global Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) presented its inaugural “IDEA Award” for outstanding contribution to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (or “IDEA”).
The AESC IDEA Award was established this year to support the goals of the AESC Diversity Pledge, signed by more than 100 CEOs of leading executive search and leadership consulting firms. The award recognises initiatives within the executive search and leadership consulting profession that demonstrate an exemplary commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access. These initiatives must be of sufficient significance and external impact to be recognised as excellent by the profession.
We’re proud to announce that Saxton Bampfylde has been awarded the AESC IDEA Award this year, recognising our work for the REACH Programme.
Designed in partnership with the Civil Service, Sophie Tredinnick, who leads Saxton Bampfylde’s work in central government, identified a need to address the issues of talented, mid-career Civil Servants with disabilities, who were ambitious and keen to progress in their careers within the public sector. She has led the creation, roll-out and management of what has become the REACH Programme in collaboration with the Cabinet Office. This programme has now been in operation since 2019 and is about to enter its second round. The programme is managed by Saxton Bampfylde on a pro bono basis.
In the initial year of operation, the REACH Programme has included 20 mentees, and the same number of mentors who have all given their time for free. One of the key challenges regarding diversity in senior appointments is there is an insufficient pool of people from under-represented backgrounds who are in a position to step up, due to poor career progression at more junior and middle levels. The intention of the programme is to give participants with disabilities a safe forum to talk with someone who understands their situation; for mentees to share their concerns/frustrations with progressing in their career as a person with a disability; and for mentors to help provide guidance, support, and reflections on their own journeys as the mentees try to move to the next level in their career.
Sophie Tredinnick, Partner at Saxton Bampfylde commented:
“I am particularly proud of being part of a programme that exists to enable a playing field for people with disabilities to progress, to feel supported and to thrive in their careers. We have a critical role to play as leadership consultants to advance the way we approach diversity and inclusion and the AESC is leading the way in recognising the innovative work that can and should be done.
“As leadership consultants we should be drawing on our knowledge and our access to networks, that not everyone else has, to think creatively about how we can elevate and promote people who are in underrepresented groups and help to create an environment where everyone has an equal chance to succeed.”
Karen Greenbaum, AESC President & CEO, commented:
“We are proud to recognise these AESC Members as exemplars of excellence in our profession. The AESC IDEA Award brings critical recognition to those who are bringing our AESC Diversity Pledge to life through their tangible, measurable impact.”