Janice Ellig is on a mission. Described by Bloomberg Businessweek as one ‘the world’s most influential headhunters,’ she’s the CEO of Ellig Group, an executive search and leadership consulting firm that’s women-owned and led. On paper her mission is simple: to see gender parity on corporate boards and in the C-suite. In reality, she admits that this is not as simple as it sounds.
Ellig is up against what she describes as the ‘glacial rate of change’. But she’s unafraid to speed things up. “Search firms have a responsibility to take what can be a difficult stance and show their clients the positive impact of having a diversity and inclusion intention,” she asserts.
In 2011 Ellig was elected President of the Women’s Forum of New York and embarked on a significant initiative to speed up change. “The idea was to celebrate those CEOs/boards that were accelerating the pace of change for women on boards,” she explains. “So, we launched the Breakfast of Corporate Champions honouring those companies above the national S&P 500 average. This biennial event has grown to over 650 executives convening to honour and hear leading CEOs speak on the business imperative for gender parity and how to get there. It is an amazing gathering of CEOs and directors – the game changers.”