Shami Iqbal Wins DEI Advocacy Award; Leader at Spencer Stuart Recognized for Diversity Leadership in Executive Search

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Shami Iqbal, Spencer Stuart’s UK Managing Partner and Leader of the EMEA Legal Practice wins the AESC IDEA Award for his outstanding contribution to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA).

Shami Iqbal wears a business suit with a red and blue tie. He stands in front of a city backdrop.

Shami Iqbal, Spencer Stuart’s UK Managing Partner and Leader of the EMEA Legal, Compliance and Government Affairs Practice

“We are proud to recognize Shami Iqbal as an exemplar of excellence in our profession. The AESC IDEA Award brings critical recognition to those who are bringing our commitment as a profession to DEI to life through their tangible, measurable impact.”

Today at their annual AESC Global Conference in London, the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) honored Shami Iqbal, Spencer Stuart’s UK Managing Partner and Leader of the EMEA Legal, Compliance and Government Affairs Practice with the AESC IDEA Award for his outstanding contribution to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA).

Shami has proven his deep commitment to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within Spencer Stuart and beyond. For example,

  • Shami initiated the first Spencer Stuart UK DE&I working group;
  • Inspired the creation of the firm's first neurodiversity affinity group;
  • Instigated a discussion series on topics from diversity leadership to mental health;
  • Oversaw Spencer Stuart's participation in the General Counsel for Diversity & Inclusion initiative
  • Nearly two-thirds of his placements in recent years have been female and/or from an ethnic minority background.

Shami is an active member of AESC’s Europe & Africa IDEA Council and led Spencer Stuart's involvement in a variety of strategic partnerships, including:

  • Change the Race Ratio, an organization committed to increasing racial and ethnic participation in senior leadership;
  • Empowering People of Colour (EPoC), a peer-to-peer network connecting high-potential leaders of colour with board chairs; and
  • 10,000 Black Interns, a campaign to transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the UK.

Dr. Tony Byers, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Spencer Stuart, commented, "Shami has helped our team deliver better DEI outcomes for our clients. He is an outstanding advocate for inclusion, diversity and equity both inside and outside Spencer Stuart, seeing it as a business as well as an ethical imperative. He cares deeply about the positive impact our industry can have in the broader community and is not afraid to broach difficult conversations and challenge the status quo."

Karen Greenbaum, AESC President & CEO, commented: “We are proud to recognize Shami Iqbal as an exemplar of excellence in our profession. The AESC IDEA Award brings critical recognition to those who are bringing our commitment as a profession to DEI to life through their tangible, measurable impact.”

The AESC IDEA Award was established in 2020 to support the goals of the AESC Diversity Pledge, signed by more than 100 CEOs of leading executive search and leadership consulting firms. The award recognizes initiatives within the executive search and leadership consulting profession that demonstrate an exemplary commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access. These initiatives must be of sufficient significance and external impact to be recognized as excellent by the profession.

  • Photos of the event, interviews with Mr. Iqbal and AESC leadership are available by request.
  • Tagging AESC in social media posts ensures we have the ability to amplify the story on all our social channels , including LinkedIn and Twitter (@TheAESC).

About Shami Iqbal
Shami Iqbal has more than 20 years of experience in the executive search profession providing private and public companies across all sectors with legal talent and leadership services, including succession planning and partner and business management hiring.

About the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants 
Since 1959, AESC has set the quality standard for the executive search and leadership consulting profession. AESC Members represent 16,000+ trusted professionals in 1,200+ offices, spanning 70+ countries. AESC Members are recognized experts providing consulting services in the areas of leaders, teams and culture to the world’s leading organizations. They leverage their access and expertise to place more than 100,000 executives each year in board of directors and C-level positions across industry sectors. Dedicated to strengthening leadership worldwide, AESC and its members share a deep commitment to the highest quality standards in executive search and leadership consulting—for the benefit of clients and the profession. We Shape. Connect. Educate. Learn more about us at aesc.org. For AESC’s career service connecting executive-level candidates to the world’s leading executive search firms, visit bluesteps.com.

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Martha Clement Rochford
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