Market norms make it difficult for women to reach short lists for board positions. 

A lot of change is expected in this market in the months and years ahead.

“However, another group of women have found a quicker way to ensure nominations committees see them as potential non-execs — by leapfrogging the headhunters and meeting chairmen directly at a “speed dating” evening in London.

Organised by Catquin, an agency that represents senior women executives, it paired businesswomen with chairmen, other Neds — and some headhunters — in a series of 10-minute “dates” over champagne and canapés at the BT Tower in London.

Sylvia Igglesden at Catquin described the event on February 15 as “a bit of a short cut” for women who wanted to raise their profile. “I am not suggesting that anyone will be offered a job directly out of it but some of the people attending are looking for nonexecutives,” she said.”

Sharon Constancon, CEO of Genius Methods was quoted in this article  –

Sharon Constançon, chief executive officer of Genius Methods, a consultancy, said: “There are so many competent women out there that the recruiters just don’t know.

“Outside the public sector most Ned roles are not advertised but headhunters tell you not to send them your CV speculatively, so how are we supposed to find out about these roles? Headhunters say that they know people and they approach their network. Well, how do I get to know them?

“The speed-dating event lets you get out and meet a bunch of people directly without having the recruiter stand in your way because one box is unticked. Here you can stand up for yourself before the recruiter’s checklist gets in the way.”

She didn’t find any immediate opportunities during the evening, she said, but did find it a useful way to expand her network.

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