Follett Parker launches with D&I in mind

London based firm focuses on senior women leaders, chiefs of staff with a commitment to diverse, exceptional hires

Named after management and leadership theorist Mary Parker-Follett, a new boutique executive search agency Follett Parker has launched to advise businesses on hiring the best talent with diversity, equity and inclusion as a key driving force.

Founded by Sandra Hatugari, FRSA, MBA, a former senior marketer in Private Equity, the executive search firm will advise the private equity and asset management space on executive hiring. The firm’s core focus areas will be recruiting exceptional senior women, liminal roles such as the chief of staff as well as roles of the future.

An advocate of honesty, authenticity and kindness in business, Sandra aims to help businesses shape organisational cultures and values through a smarter approach to recruitment for the new world of work.

Sandra’s years of industry experience working with senior leaders will be instrumental in consulting with businesses on how to address long-standing methods ingrained within businesses that could impact recruitment. A huge opportunity exists currently within Private Markets, for organisations to reassess their activities around attraction and retention of diverse talent.

Sandra spearheaded the introduction of diversity and inclusion initiatives in previous roles in private equity where she made it her mission to question structural and cultural ways of working to foster better gender and racial equality. In 2020, she was named a Future 40 DEI Leader in Private Equity by Real Deals.

“As a woman, I’m acutely aware of the burden to ‘help bring others up’ carried by women that do reach very senior levels, which is then magnified by the fact that there are so few,” she explains. “In being the only woman, or one of just a few in senior roles, there are incredibly high expectations, and this can sometimes lead to burn out. This might in part explain the exodus of senior women recently reported in the LeanIn-McKinsey Women in the Workplace report.”

Sandra continues “At Follett Parker we hope to advise businesses to hire through a considered lens, outside of the conventional modus operandi of recruitment. For example, I think unconscious bias is taking up too much space in the current DEI discussion. I would like to see more action, not discussion, that truly moves the needle. Debiasing feedback and promotion processes; recognising and promoting the value of transparency in your hiring processes, and crucially, broadening the lens of where and how you look for talent, without lowering the bar. This is all possible, but it requires effort. And further, policy alone is not enough, it needs to be supported by a strong culture of inclusion, led from the top of the organisation to help companies navigate the discomfort that inevitably comes with diversifying teams.”

In a post-pandemic era, the world of work looks very different, and as an agile new business, Follett Parker seeks to help businesses with a fresh approach to talent management that is representative of today’s workforce. The goal is a business with strong sustainable and ethical credentials as well as a tangible commitment to people and the planet.

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