Marci Nigro is the Founder and CEO of Appointed Partners. Marci advises clients, corporate directors, and senior executives on board and leadership matters. Marci brings 25+ years of experience and success in serving both Private Equity backed and publicly held companies. As a former Partner of TEG, a Retained Executive Search firm, Marci helped take the firm from its infancy stage in 1996, to the global executive search firm that it is today. Marci is also a proud member of 30 percent Coalition, 2020 Women on Boards, and WBENC.

Chris Skroupa: What in your opinion, is the business case for gender diversity?

Marci Nigro: Studies conducted by Mckinsey, Deloitte, PWC, HBR, etc. have all produced conclusive data supporting that gender diversity positively impacts a company’s financial performance, reduces potential corruption and scandal, and strengthens the overall economy. A commitment to gender diversity means that companies embrace best practice corporate governance which is an essential component to corporate growth. Having spent the past 20 years as a partner in an executive search firm, I’ve had the opportunity to help my clients implement diversity initiatives. It’s time for CEOs and boards to take action and look at refreshing teams for optimal composition.

Skroupa: What’s the most important thing your company is currently working toward to advance gender equality, and how are you making it happen?

Nigro: Most companies and search firms build leadership organizations around a job description, instead of the executive talent. We have a different philosophy. By representing companies and the leaders that build and grow them, Appointed Partners has created an entirely new way to address an old problem by finding and filling executive leadership opportunities.  Our proactive approach to pipelining and demand generation is redefining the way organizations and leaders come together. The gender diversity practices of today’s companies need to have a disruptive “proactive” model that utilizes an executive network.

Skroupa: What are some of the biggest obstacles today’s companies face when it comes to implementing gender parity in company culture?

Nigro: This topic continues to be highly visible in the media, corporate governance world, and even the investment community. There are companies and industry sectors that have truly embraced this topic, and others that do not look at gender parity as a priority. One of the obstacles that we often hear about is that companies have a hard time finding qualified female executives. We serve private equity backed, and public companies. The supply of female executives exists, and they want to serve at executive levels.