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Pekarsky & Co. Walking the Walk around Diversity – Case Study #2

September 21, 2020

VP, Legal Search – September 2020


Having worked in previous years with our client across multiple functional leadership positions, P&Co. was engaged in July 2020 for a Vice-President, Legal search. In addition to all the ‘must have’ technical and interpersonal skills, our client was very focussed on filling this role with a candidate who would bring diversity to the team. In developing the position description, we held open and transparent conversations with our client to identify the Equity Diversity and Inclusion (“EDI”) priorities of this hire.


Sourcing for this search was carried out across Canada within the power and natural gas sectors, and broader energy sector, but always seeking directly or through referrals, candidates who were visible minorities. Pre-screens were carried out through MS Teams video calls due to COVID-19 restrictions, however, the visible minority factor was not discussed during the interviews to mitigate any negative concerns of bias. Individuals who met the required skills and experience but were not visible minorities, were still given the same time and attention as visible minority candidates.


From a long list of 56 candidates, we were able to present and have approved within a few weeks a short-list with six candidates, five of whom were visible minorities, and four of whom were women. Second interviews were held with three visible minority candidates, two being women, and all of whom are strong candidates for the position. Ultimately our client was going to hire the best candidate for the job.  In this case the final candidate was a visible minority female selected on the basis of her strength in leadership and technical legal skills.


Our client is the Executive Vice President, Regulatory & Chief Legal Officer, and she was very pleased with the quality and timeliness of our search. We understand the necessity for sensitivity and discretion in managing candidates, but still being able to have direct and open conversations about the business needs when it comes to the consideration of EDI in the recruitment process.