Blue Rock Search

Three Companies Leading the Way with Gender-Diverse Hiring

At Blue Rock Search, we’re committed to diverse, inclusive, and equitable hiring practices for twelve months of the year. This Women’s History Month, we’re taking a moment to spotlight a few major companies that offer a blueprint for improving access, advancing women’s careers, hiring diversely, and supporting gender inclusivity across the board.



In 2022, Citigroup’s board reached female-majority status, with seven out of twelve board members (or 58%) being women, according to analysis by Just Capital. Additionally, it has at least one woman on each of its six board committees and hit 40% of women in leadership roles across its global workforce.


This outcome is due to pursuing solid and clear parity goals and then following up on those goals with reasonable, achievable timelines. Citigroup’s annual report from 2022 notes that the 40% benchmark was the culmination of an implemented three-year plan to increase diversity representation. The report also noted a commitment to identifying and closing the gender pay gap. For many companies, the idea of committing to gender equity and inclusion is appealing, but they may then struggle to set clear goals and timelines. Citigroup’s ongoing results prove that a real program with a real timeline can achieve real results.


Estée Lauder Companies (ELC)

Forbes ranked ELC as the second-best company in the world for women in 2023 (and the highest-ranked US-based company). Half of the company’s global regions are led by women, and 59% of VP and higher-level roles are occupied by women. ELC also puts women at the forefront of technical innovation. Its six R&D innovation centers are all headed by women, and more than 60% of its STEM professionals are women.


ELC is ahead of the curve by focusing on both ends of the career spectrum. Not only do they promote women into leadership roles at every level, but they also invest early in women and girl’s career trajectories. Over the last two decades, the company has partnered with Student Leadership Network and the Young Women’s Leadership Schools, which provide support for girls and gender-diverse youth by offering career, leadership, and mental health resources. Building the pipeline is just as vital as building a leadership team.



 Mastercard is a clear example of how gender parity can be achieved when there’s a will. As of 2022, women at the company earn $1 for every $1 earned by men, and median pay for women only lags slightly (94% of median pay for men). Significantly, the same is true for employees of color, which is particularly relevant given the intersectional challenges faced by women of color in the workforce.


The company doesn’t stop there. It supports the growth and education of girls and women through programs like Girls4Tech, a STEM education program for eight to twelve-year-old girls, through programs designed to increase gender diversity on boards and through partnerships to provide microlending to female entrepreneurs around the world. Significantly, their benefits include gender-focused items, including support and coverage for family planning and assistance with adoption, fertility treatment, and surrogacy along with enhanced coverage for gender-affirming care. Offering these specialized items can make a big difference when recruiting top talent; it’s a way of demonstrating that everyone is truly welcome.


At Blue Rock Search, we’re committed to advocating for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at every level. Including more diverse perspectives and experiences strengthens companies, and we work with clients, day in and day out, to secure transformational, diverse talent to lead the way. If you’re looking to recruit exceptional executive talent or revamp your employee value proposition to better appeal to diverse talent, talk to Blue Rock and learn more about how we can help.


About the Author

After a 25-year career in Corporate Human Resources and HR Executive Search, Ruben Moreno and his two partners co-founded Blue Rock Search based on a simple but ambitious vision of creating a firm that would “Change Lives and Organizations One Relationship at a Time.”  Ruben leads the Blue Rock HR & Diversity Executive Search practice specializing in the identification, assessment, recruitment, and onboarding of Chief HR Officers and Chief Diversity Officers and their respective teams — inclusive of leaders in Talent Acquisition, Total Rewards, HRBP’s, Learning & OD, HR Technology, HR Operations, and HR Analytics. Ruben has helped place hundreds of HR Executives and built deep relationships within the CHRO community across multiple industry verticals. His clients consider him a trusted partner who takes the time to understand their business and add value beyond executive search.

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