Do you have Tremendous Transferability?

Professionals learn a trade. Once upon a time, professionals would stick with that trade. They continue in their trade until retirement or they otherwise stopped working. Today, many professionals move from one industry or role to another with relative ease. For professionals who have taken the opportunity to make a change, that is great!

But there are other professionals who are still stuck. These professionals may feel like they are in an archaic world. Maybe they have been told that transferring between industries cannot be done. All they see is an insurmountable obstacle. Or maybe they didn’t know their skills could be used in other industries. For many reasons, some professionals are stagnant.

When changing careers or industries, it is paramount to demonstrate the transferability of your skills!

But How Does Someone Show The Transferability Of Their Skills? That Is One Of The Many Reasons Clients Come To Us.

Many professionals imagine doing something else. But they may not know what it is they want to do. Or maybe they don’t know what choice would be the most lucrative. Or even how to make the change. That’s where The Barrett Group comes in.

Let’s start by examining some statistics. LinkedIn states the executive target population is about 7.9 million executives. (See Editor’s Note). These executives have specializations. Specializations are common among industries. The skills learned in one industry are transferable to another. And it is interesting to us (and our clients) which specializations are the most common.

Chart 1_Most Transferable Specializations

The “Most Transferrable Specializations” graphic shares the top 50 results. It is no surprise that some specialties are fairly generic. Also the more generic the specialization, the more frequently it is cited. See specializations such as “New Business Development” or “Sales Management,” for example.

One Executive May Have Multiple Specializations Listed. So Unfortunately We Cannot Divide The Number By 7.9 Million Executives And Derive The Percentage Share.

But nevertheless, the chart provides valuable insights. It shares the relative frequency of various specializations. This information is useful to anyone looking to make a change from one industry to another. So this is a really good place to start.

Now let’s look at the frequency of specializations. The top 10 industries demonstrate this relative concentration or lack thereof. See the ”Top Transferable Specializations per Industrial Segment” graphic.

Chart 2_Top Transferable Specializations per Industrial Segment

So it is also fair to observe that there is a wide degree of homogeneity across industries. In other words, the Human Resources industry has very few executives who claim a Procurement specialization. And few share Engineering specialties in the Marketing & Advertising sector. The Legal Counsel sector rarely lists specializations in New Business Development and Sales Management.

Here is an example to clarify. Suppose you are a New Business Development professional. You worked in the manufacturing segment for ten years. But now, you are changing industries. You would certainly consider industries that have the most relevance to your specialization. High-level analysis suggests that you have several industries you can consider. These industries could include Construction & Real Estate, Procurement, and Information Technology. You could also consider Marketing & Advertising, and Financial Services. (If you were an engineer, Marketing & Advertising and Finance would probably be less relevant.)

Professionals have more information available than these simple summaries, of course. (See our Industry Updates series, too.) There is much to consider when you are making a career change. And when you are a client of The Barrett Group, we are your partner through the career change process.

Our Holistic Process Begins With The Clarity Program©

Clients begin in the Targeting step. Here they assess where their personalities might best fit. They examine their past and current life circumstances. But clients consider their longer-term aspirations also. Using detailed analysis, we determine a “target industry.” Clients greatly improve the probability of satisfaction AND optimal compensation with clarity. And if the client looks to transfer from one industry or role, this decision is realized in the Targeting step.

Next, we carry the “target industry” through into the Packaging or Personal Branding step. Here, we carefully craft the resume for the client. The resume demonstrates the transferability of experience to their targeted sector. Next, clients locate opportunities that fit their targets during the Market Access step. In the Preparations Step, we coach them as they begin to interview. We help clients to comfortably (and authentically) provide evidence of their transferability to prospective employers. Once the offers come in, clients also find our Offer Negotiation support invaluable. Our support continues as clients work through Onboarding in their new positions.

Our process is customized. It is personalized to each client. And we are good at it because we do it every day (literally).

Over The Years, We Fine-Tuned Our Process. But Each Client’s Experience Is Special And Unique.

One client shared his personal reorientation:

“My Clarity coach was supportive, respectful, and kind. But also did not pull any punches. Questions were optimally timed for impact. And their insightfulness pried open any doubts, concerns, and second-guesses I might have harbored. I felt challenged. Also pushed to articulate a clear vision of my professional and personal self. And of how these sides co-exist. At the end of the program, I definitely feel capable of re-orienting my career path in a way that is both realistically attuned with my ambition, and supportive of a holistic self-perception.” [Massimo Rondolino, Read More]

The Barrett Group Specializes In Helping Executive Clients Change Direction. Clients Learn To Show The Transferability Of Their Skills.

Every year we help hundreds of clients achieve their career objectives. This is through our tried and true methodology. And it’s been fine-tuned over more than 30 years.

Are you struggling to make a change? Do yourself a favor. Hire the Expert. Give us a call.

Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group

Editor’s Note:

*Generally speaking, “Executives” refers to several titles. These include the Vice President, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. And it also refers to Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Information Officer, Managing Partner, and President titles. Our targeted geography includes the US, EU, UK, and the Middle East. But unless otherwise noted, the data in this Blog Post came from LinkedIn. The data represents a snapshot of the market as it was at the time of the research. Is LinkedIn truly representative? Here’s a little data: LinkedIn has approximately 810 million users. (See Source.) And it is by far the largest and most robust business database in the world. LinkedIn is now in its 19th year.


Executive Proponent with Impact

Forbes and Statista have again cited the Barrett Group for a third year as among the best executive recruiters in the US. In fact, we rank among the top 150 from a field of more than 30,000—the top 0.5%! So, of course, we are a proud proponent of our clients.

Why Were We Selected? Because Of Our Impact.

We help executives find their ideal positions and have done so continuously for 30 years under the same name. For example, more than 100 executive clients have already landed through the middle of April in 2022.

The Only Thing Is, We Are Not An Executive Recruiter Because We Never Work For The Employer.

Instead, we are career management specialists. You may think of us as an “executive proponent” because we work for the candidate—the executive him- or herself.

Our unique process helps clients identify their personal targets. In this way, they balance personality, whole-life preferences, and long-term career objectives. This assures a coherent and balanced objective.

Next, we package the client into a well-considered brand. By encompassing their resume versions, cover letters, and LinkedIn profile, we ensure they are consistent with their career targets.

We then open up the markets for our clients including the recruiter market (about 10% of client landings), the published market (another 15% of landings), and the unpublished market where some 75% of our clients find their ideal next step. Many unique sub-steps lead the way into and through these markets, circumventing would-be gatekeepers, and achieving a direct dialogue with decision-makers.

Next we prepare our clients for their interviews. This is so that they anticipate key questions and practice authentic answers, address transferability of skills and experience, and generally excel in the interview process as fairly obviously the best candidates. Our negotiation coaches step in at the offer stage. They apply more than 30 years of experience, often adding $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more to the total compensation package.

Lastly, our service does not stop when the client receives an acceptable offer. We go that extra mile and help the client prepare for on-boarding in the new role by anticipating the organizational landscape, key executives’ bios and personalities, or even developing a detailed 100-day plan in some cases.

Many Candidates Think They Can Manage This Process On Their Own, However, All Too Often They Return After A Month Or Two In The Market.

They recognize that the executive market is more complicated than they first thought. They know they need help to make an impact.

Here’s what one senior executive client had to say on the subject:

“I used to think I could do anything on my own – that I didn’t need help to successfully advance my career, but I had a rude awakening. Through The Barrett Group’s process, I learned a different approach – something I should have been doing all along.” [Sven Leverson, 2021, Read More]

If you want to make a change in your career and you need a proponent—someone who has done it before (thousands of times) and is unequivocally on your side—you may want to choose the one firm that stands out as the expert in career management, an executive proponent with impact. Choose the Barrett group.

Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group

INDUSTRY UPDATE: Travel, Leisure & Dining – May 2022


Finally! We are starting to see signs of recovery in a number of industries hard hit by the pandemic: Leisure, Travel & Tourism, Entertainment, and Restaurants. In this industry update, we have summarized them as “Travel, Leisure & Dining.” This recovery is not particularly broad however and is even a bit lopsided.

In the US, “Out of the 1.6 million jobs left to recover, a staggering 1.5 million are in Leisure & Hospitality alone, pointing directly to the sector’s uneven recovery and how swift federal policies are needed to restore the travel workforce…” This is according to U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes. [See Source.] It should be noted that this source is talking about all jobs, not just executive positions. In this industry update, our focus will be on executive management as explained in our Editor’s Note. Still, it is difficult to manage a business if you lack staff.

Restaurants in the US have indeed seen some degree of recovery. “The foodservice industry will reach $898 billion in sales this year. [This is] up from $799 billion in 2021 and surpassing pre-pandemic sales levels from 2019 of $864 billion, the group estimates in its “State of the Restaurant Industry Report” […] However, when adjusted for inflation, sales in 2022 are projected to remain below pre-pandemic levels, they said. Much of last year’s gains were tied to higher prices as costs soared for operators.” [See Source.] According to this source, staff shortages are also the key issue, though inflation in input costs is not far behind.

What about the entertainment sector?

Expect huge growth in this area from about $4 trillion in 2020 to $6 trillion in 2025. Here are the key points one source cites regarding this sector’s likely recovery (See Source):

  • Patterns of consumption adopted during the pandemic will likely continue. This is particularly the attraction of streaming videos, digital sales, and gaming.
  • Connectivity particularly via smartphones is key to the industry’s growth. This is provided the infrastructure can keep up with the bandwidth required.
  • Live experiences and big-screen cinemas are not dead yet.

Travel and tourism in the EU also took a significant hit in 2020. Nights spent, for example, fell by 50% to 1.4 trillion nights in 2020 vs. 2.8 trillion in 2019. However, 2021 saw a 27% rise in this indicator as some markets recovered. (See Source.)

Restaurants in six big European countries (Germany, UK, Spain, France, Italy, and Russia) saw some resurgence in the second half of 2021. “The good news is that, when compared to 2020, the six European countries combined showed a significant recovery…. [With] spend growing by 19% altogether, while visits grew 15%, and eater cheques increased 3%. However, comparing against 2019, the industry in 2021 remained far away from the levels it came from. [Compared to] the last year prior to the pandemic, consumer spend was down by more than a quarter. ([This is] down 26%, or an absolute decline of €82 billion). Visit counts dropped by 29% between 2019 and  2021. And the eater cheque grew 4% during the same period, helping to counteract […] visit declines a bit.” [See Source.]

Food and drink in the EU comprises one of the most important manufacturing segments (along with automotive and machinery and equipment sectors). It delivered a 2018 turnover of €1,093 billion, sported a significant external trade surplus, captured about 21% of average household spend, and employed some 4.5 million people. [See Source.]

In Europe both fast food and food delivery seem poised to benefit further from the consumer behaviors learned during the harshest Covid-19 restrictions. Food delivery business is therefore expected to grow with a compound annual rate of more than 10% per year through 2027 to a market size of more than $66 billion. [See Source.]

In the Middle East, travel and tourism showed some recovery at the end of 2021. “Many of the publicly traded hotel companies to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 earnings over the last few weeks. [It also] noted the Middle East was one of their strongest-performing regions. Marriott’s revenue per available room — the industry’s key performance metric — in the Middle East was 8 percent above 2019 levels in the fourth quarter. It was 7 percent above 2019 levels for Hilton.” [See Source.Note, we covered hotels specifically in our Hospitality Update.

Then there is the concept of “Revenge Travel.” People have been cooped up for years at this point and may be on the verge of getting going while the going’s (relatively) good.

“People still have the means to spend; they just needed a catalyst, and now they have one,” said Aneta Markowska. Markowska is chief economist at Jefferies, who is planning a spring vacation, her first in two years, to Turks and Caicos. “They are sitting on the biggest cash cushion they’ve seen in years — and that’s not just the wealthy; it’s 80 percent of the population.” 

“Americans have set aside roughly $2.4 trillion in extra savings during the pandemic. [This is] in part because they’ve cut back on dining out, travel and entertainment, according to Wells Fargo. But data shows spending on those services tends to pick up rapidly as coronavirus cases subside.”

“Airline bookings for both domestic and international travel are on the upswing, according to Bank of America. Flight searches on the travel site Kayak have picked up in February, with interest in flights to the Philippines and Morocco more than doubling from a month ago.” [See Source.]

In summary, while Travel and Tourism have yet to fully recover certain other segments of the Leisure, Entertainment, and Restaurant markets are building on the momentum they developed due to Covid-19 lockdowns. Specifically:

  • Streamed entertainment and the infrastructure to deliver it are set for continued growth;
  • Internet-based food delivery and fast food are well placed to enjoy continued growth, too; and
  • Depending on how “revenge travel” and other factors play out, travel and tourism service providers may see a surge. Or they may have to be patient and be prepared to aggressively market their services to regain consumers.

Travel, Leisure & Dining Executive Employment

At 276,000, this is a relatively large segment. Including 0.6% growth over the last 12 months, almost 7,000 executive opportunities were created or changed hands in the past year. This cohort is approximately 73% male. And includes a lot of very familiar brand names. Chart 1 provides an overview of where they work.

Chart 1_Top Fifty Employers

It is probably no surprise to see McDonald’s and Disney at the top of the chart. But their growth rates indicate a healthy return from the depths of the pandemic. In fact, many of the familiar food brands are doing well, too.

Many content and media companies also seem to be faring reasonably well. These are such as NBCUniversal, Sony Entertainment, and Warner Media.

Even Royal Caribbean Group makes the top 50 while showing impressive growth in its executive ranks.

From Chart 1, let us look into the top players and find out more about their hiring practices. McDonald’s, for example, hired 48 executives as we define them in the last 12 months. It also shed 6 and posted a net gain of 42. There was no obvious single source as they joined from such diverse companies. These are companies such as Mars, Penny Market (Czech Republic), TAP Air Portugal, Wayne’s Coffee, and Petco.

The Walt Disney Company also added 57, lost 7, and showed a net gain of 50 executives during the last year. They had a peak so far in March 2022. Here, too, there was no one single donor company but an eclectic mix of sources. These include ESPN and Hogan Lovells, a law firm specializing in international law.

LinkedIn reports this cohort as having the following general make-up with respect to which specific industry segment employs the executives:

  • 134,000 Entertainment
  • 76,000 Restaurants
  • 67,000 Travel and Tourism
Beyond this general overview lies a wealth of specific industries, including the top 30 as revealed in Chart 2.
Chart 2_Top 30 Industry Specifics

While Marketing & Advertising comprises the largest group, there is a surprisingly diverse list thereafter. These include ample IT executive opportunities, Higher Education, Non-profit Management, and even Real Estate apparently attracting talent from other industry verticals. This is where an emphasis on transferable skills and experience will greatly aid candidates wishing to enter from another industrial background.

As far as gender is concerned, a number of specializations stand out as employing a higher than average share of female executives. These include Real Estate, Food & Beverage, Sports, Performing Arts, Construction, Professional Training & Coaching, and Hospital & Health Care. Some of these are showing a healthy 38-40% female executive share, far exceeding the industry average of 27%.

Chart 3_Top 50 Executive Specializations

This is indeed a diverse cohort that we have pulled together. And is mainly because of the similar negative effect the pandemic initially had on their overall businesses. So it is no wonder that the specializations their executives cite are also disparate (Chart 3). Logically, Entertainment stands out. But thereafter the list becomes much more particular.

Social Media Marketing, for example, is in second place. It is a specialization that can draw talent from all across the industrial spectrum and thus provide a channel for cross-industry executive moves. The same might be said for fourth-ranked New Business Development as well as many more of the specializations listed here.

On the other hand, many of these skill sets are very specific to this industrial grouping, for example, Television, Film, Acting, or even Songwriting. In a way, it is inspiring to know that so many executives find opportunities in unusual niches such as Theatre or Voice Acting even in this day and age. Several areas also stand out for their high female executive share, notably Fundraising and Nonprofit Organizations.
Chart 4_Top 50 Executive Locations

For a change, New York is only number two on this chart of the most populous locations (Chart 4), topped as it is by Los Angeles. However, London and Paris rank in the top six, while the UAE comes in at number 16, albeit with the highest growth rate of the lot.

Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, and Sony are the largest employers of executives in these industries in Los Angeles, whereas NBCUniversal, Viacom, and ViacomCBS employ the most industry execs in New York. Royal Caribbean tops the bill in Miami-Fort Lauderdale, LongHorn Steakhouse in Atlanta, and McDonald’s leads executive employment in London, Paris, and Chicago.

The executive ranks seem indeed to be growing more slowly in US locations with only Minneapolis-St. Paul and Jacksonville meeting or exceeding 1.5% YOY while numerous locations outside the US including the UAE, Copenhagen, Saudi Arabia, and Lisbon meet or exceed this benchmark.

Peter Irish, CEO The Barrett Group 
Click Here To Download A Printable Version: INDUSTRY UPDATE: Travel, Leisure & Dining

Editor Note:

In this particular Industry Update, “executives” will generally refer to the Vice President, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Information Officer, Managing Partner, and President titles. Unless otherwise noted, the data in this Update will largely come from LinkedIn and represents a snapshot of the market as it was at the time of the research.

Is LinkedIn truly representative? Here’s a little data: LinkedIn has approximately 722 million users, 174 million in the US, and 163 million in Europe. (See Source.) LinkedIn is by far the largest and most robust business database in the world, now in its 18th year. LinkedIn defines the year-over-year change (YOY Change) as the change in the number of professionals divided by the count as of last year. “Attrition” is defined as the departures in the last 12 months divided by the average headcount over the last year.

100 Reasons to Rejoice

100 Reasons to Rejoice

Why are we happy? We have 100 reasons to rejoice! More than 100 of our clients have landed stimulating executive positions so far in 2022. This is thanks to their hard work, our great team, and our tried-and-true methodology.

One reason for this success begins at the start of each client program. We take the time to assess what clients really want to achieve in terms of their next career step with our unique Targeting Step (the Clarity Program©). Having a realistic, personalized, and motivating career target makes all the difference. Our clients work through our process and are supported by their client teams. Let’s face it. Expanding your social capital, having preliminary conversations, interviewing… All of these steps are necessary, take effort, and can be stressful. But they are much less so when you do not have to face all that pressure alone.

Here’s how one recently landed client said it:

“Ideal jobs don’t just drop into your lap. You have to work towards them, and you fail a lot in a job search. Sometimes job seekers aren’t ready for multiple rejections, but to get a success story, you need to handle rejection. Isabelita [his career consultant] was great because she continued to push me. She kept me going.” [Chief Commercial Officer, Maciej Kossowski, Read More]

We Also Rejoice Because Our Clients’ Overall Interview Activity Is Developing Very Well In 2022.

Despite a tendency for this data to be underreported, more than 259 first and 224 second interviews have been logged by clients through the middle of April—an impressive 4 to 5 interviews per day! (See our Front Line Reports for the data per week.)

This level of activity is not really surprising. Consider that there were about 350,000 executive job changes in the past year in the US, EU, UK, and Middle East according to LinkedIn. (See our Industry Update data.) The lion’s share of this activity is never advertised. Even executive recruiters do not know about most of these opportunities because approximately 75% stem from the so-called unpublished market.

Imagine if you will an executive pondering a challenge, an opportunity, a gap or some other conundrum facing his or her organization. Largely by reverse engineering their social capital, we help our clients appear at the right time on that executive’s radar—with a carefully curated personal brand including a relevant skill set and track record. As a result, there is often little competition and no pre-set compensation package. In fact, many of our clients are able to write or at least heavily influence their own responsibilities and role parameters.

However, The Pace Of Hiring At The Barrett Group Has Definitely Increased In 2022 And The Hiring Industries Have Also Shifted Somewhat. (See The Executive Client Landings By Industry Chart.)

Some of this variation may be pandemic related, or indeed, due to various stages in the business cycle, or even variations in our in-coming clients’ industrial background and their aspirations to stay in or change industries. In any case, while Financial Services remained fairly steady, Manufacturing moved into the top spot. And Hospitals, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals moved down the ranking in favor of Education / Non-Profit / Government and Information Technology & Services. We suggest readers treat this data with caution. There are certainly possible distortions due to reporting limitations and imperfect comparability of data. But it certainly makes sense that manufacturing is growing faster again as the pandemic recedes. We also see recovery in demand for Construction / Real Estate and even Airlines & Aerospace, for example, among other industries.

Sometimes candidates wonder, too, about the seniority of the positions our clients obtain. This also varies from year to year and with the industrial mix. However, in 2022 we have been more assiduous about collecting this data. The following chart gives a reasonable picture by major title group for the year so far, whereby, some titles evade categorization and have ended up in “Other.”

We are always pleased with how our process steps in at the offer stage, in particular on the compensation package and sweetens the deal. We can virtually always add $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more to the package. This is thanks to our 30+ years of experience and the skills of our negotiation coaches. 

If you are not experiencing the same degree of success in your career search or have not even started, save yourself a lot of aggravation. Hire THE EXPERT in career management. Hire the Barrett Group so you, too, will have reasons to rejoice.

Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group


Eleven is Your Lucky Number

Imagine eleven successes in your life all piling up at one time.  How does that feel?  One good thing, or two, maybe three… but ELEVEN!  Wow!

That is exactly how we feel about eleven of our clients landing executive roles in one week!  So far in April, our clients continue to land important positions, too. Positions such as CEO, Chief Growth Officer, Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President, VP R&D, European Operations Leader, and many others.

Luck, However, Had Nothing To Do With These Eleven Successes. 

Our clients worked hard to achieve these positions utilizing our tried and true methodology—31 years in the making—and they were supported by the best team in the business helping clients not only land executive roles, but increase initial offers by $20,000, £25,000, €35,000, $45,000, $60,000, and $140,000 (just to highlight a few specific increases).

Add this latest week to results so far in 2022 and the list of titles becomes even more impressive (see Seventy-Five Careers that Thrive).

But there is even more going on here than meets the eye. Many of these executives were “fleeing” declining industries or constraining roles and realized that they needed to make a change into another career path entirely.  That’s why they chose the Barrett Group—because we are masters of professional reinvention.  No, we are not magicians.  We choose to work with executive candidates who have strong credentials in the first place, of course. But then our methodology takes over and we rebuild their careers from the ground up.

Sometimes Examples Help. 

Here are three recently landed clients’ short stories.

  • One client moved from Ireland to New York. He changed companies and improved his title from Worldwide Supply Chain Director to Executive Vice President of Operations. And increased the initial offer by $60,000—all that in three months. In total, he fielded three serious offers in the process.
  • Another client negotiated an internal promotion. This person changed roles and industrial sectors while adding $45,000 in base pay—all without relocating.
  • A third client captured the CEO title at a public energy utility. She raised her base income more than $140,000 in the process.

One of the many reasons our clients are so successful is that we do not rely on only the published job market or the recruiter market.  These are important, but they represent only about 25% of the total executive market.  Like an iceberg, the largest executive market segment is largely invisible: the unpublished market.  This segment also offers great advantages because, although it is largely invisible if you do not know how to look for it, it is always in motion. 

Think About It. 

How often have you as an executive spent time reflecting on a business challenge, a threat, or an opportunity for which your organization was not prepared that required a specific skill set, personality, and/or professional experience—reflecting without actually creating a job specification and publishing it or hiring an executive recruiter? 

Dozens of times, perhaps?

Multiply that times the roughly 8 million senior executives we count among our core constituency in the US, UK, Europe, and Middle East, and we are talking about a pool of 350,000 executive roles that changed hands in the past year (according to LinkedIn).

Yes, That Includes All Industries, But Then, So Does Our Service.  We Help Clients Transition Because They Want To—Not At The Whim Of The Market.

For instance, another reason clients come to us is that they often feel they are “doing the work but not receiving the compensation and recognition they deserve.”  Here’s a live example, Kayvon Bahramzadeh, who changed continents, countries, and industries by following the Barrett Group process:

“I knew I needed help early. I started by looking at job posts on LinkedIn and Indeed, but I had no idea what I was doing. It was like starting a huge jigsaw puzzle without knowing what the picture looked like…”

“I was behind, playing catch-up, so it was really important to me to learn how to market my strengths and skills in a corporate setting. I also wanted to find an employer that valued the mindset of an athlete.”

“[I] loved the Clarity Program. It helped me understand who Kayvon is – as a person, a critical thinker, and an employee. I realized that I should be making a life choice, not just finding a new job…”

“When I started job searching, I felt like an ant in an overwhelming world. I had no idea where I was or where to go. Getting me aligned with what I want, helping me understand what I’m qualified to do, and teaching me how to get my foot in the door and be taken seriously – that, in a nutshell, is what The Barrett Group provided to me.” [Kayvon Bahramzadeh, 2022, Read More]

So if you feel lost in your career and do not know how to regain control over your professional future, perhaps it’s time to stop relying on luck.  Give us a call.

Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group

Streaming – The Barrett Group’s CEO Interviews Vice President Americas at Applicaster

The Barrett Group’s CEO Peter Irish Interviews Laura Tapias, Vice President Americas At Applicaster As They Discuss The Challenges And Opportunities Within Streaming 

Click here to watch the live interview.

Peter Irish: Welcome to this edition of the Hiring Line. I’m Peter Irish with The Barrett Group and it’s my great pleasure today to invite Laura Tapias who is the Vice President Americas from Applicaster to talk to us about streaming and how it’s evolving. Laura, please introduce yourself.

Laura Tapias: Thank you so much for having me. It’s my pleasure. I’m Laura, I’m working at Applicaster for the last 10 years. And I’m coming from entertainment, the “traditional” entertainment, selling and acquiring rights. So, I’m kind of new in the streaming area because it’s my last 10 years of the of that career. And I’m in love with the entertainment and the feeling of creating an impact. When I was in kids’ content, I loved to see kids loving these stories and these characters. When I was more focused on second screen, I was loving to see the people real time interacting with the content in the TV. And now in the streaming era it’s like having a happy users engaged with the content, and the way the content is presented, creating beautiful user experiences. That’s motivating me a lot.

Peter Irish: That’s a wonderful so you’re in exactly the right spot!

Laura Tapias: Looks like it.

Peter Irish: Well, there have been enormous changes. Let’s talk a little bit more about the industry. So, obviously, the pandemic had a big impact and there’s various players entering the market; impacts on advertisers; impacts on consumers; impact on operators. Tell us a little bit about how you see the industrial landscape, if you will, where we are, where we’ve been, where you think we might be going?

Laura Tapias: I don’t have that [crystal] ball. I would love to, I would be richer than I am, for sure! But where we are now, I think we’re in a very beautiful lake. Let’s say that two years ago, we were saying that there was an explosion and there was the boom of the streaming [industry]. If we go backwards, it was the same boom 10 years ago with the DVD. So, now it was a boom of the streaming era and I think that now, after these two years, everything landed peacefully. We know exactly who the main players are, most of them also just decided to regroup their properties in the streaming properties that are very well defined.

And as the users also went back to decide what we want to pay for and what we want to consume and when we want to consume it. Which is a human thing to do. It’s not something difficult to understand that we were having crazy lives. We’ve been stopped at home for some time. We went back to ourselves and then going back to ourselves, we just decided to consume the content we want to consume when we have the time. So, I think this is how the media consumption evolved, like going back to humans.

Of course, the SVOD [Subscription Video on Demand], which is the first one that appeared, the subscription.

It’s kind of substituting the traditional Pay TV. What is coming now, which is the fast or ad-based television or streaming. It’s kind of taking over, substituting the commercial TV. So, the same way that in the past the cable operators were just managing in some way the distribution of the Pay TV, today, who is managing this distribution, are the device manufacturers. Let’s say this Roku, this Apple, this Samsung that everybody knows. And it depends on, you know, you have a phone that is an Android, you have a TV that has a Roku, or you have a Samsung. So, depending on that you will have access to a content or to another, or you will have more easy access. Because at the end everybody’s on a platform and we are able to access the content.

Peter Irish: The distribution channels you are describing them the, I suppose, it’s really Disney, Amazon, and Netflix area some of the major players. And then you’ve got Apple and everybody else. Are they all using a single revenue model, or do they have multiple revenue models that they’re experimenting with? How do you see that?

Laura Tapias: Experimenting is the good word. The thing is that in the traditional TV, everything was averages of audience. It was an average of audience with commonly accepted measure. A date of today in the streaming, everybody measures in its own way. We have real numbers, but how we get these real numbers. They are real numbers for sure. The number of downloads that your app has. But in terms of consumption, how much time they are consuming, from where they are coming, who are these people, and so on. Everybody is just managing different ways to measure. So, that is a little bit complicated. That’s why there are companies that are mixing both models. They are having an experience for subscription and another experience for ad base.

And there are others that are dividing 100%, providing two completely different offerings. Like, it can be Pluto, or it can be Paramount Plus. In Paramount Plus you find refined productions that they also produce themselves, and you have a subscription. So, you’re happy to pay for that curated content. And then you have Pluto where you have tons of offerings of ad based live, on demand, with a lot of advertising. It’s beautifully placed, but it’s two different moments. We also, I think we have different moments of people.

Peter Irish: Hold on, a question. It’s such a great stream that you’re giving me, let me ask you a question in between. So, you know, just as when we had broadcast TV and cable came in, there were winners and losers during that evolution. We’re seeing a lot of evolution going on right now. How do you see, if you will, the winners and the losers? So, the people who own the content who generated it in the first place. The people who distributed it. People in the middle? Who’s winning out of the streaming evolution?

Laura Tapias: I’m not sure who will win, but it doesn’t change of what happened before. It doesn’t change. We were selling to a broadcaster. The broadcaster today is the streamer. So, if you are a producer today, you will do a co-production, probably with the Netflix and HBO Max or you know, but it will be the same as before.

Peter Irish: Structurally, it’s similar. Just different actors.

Laura Tapias: Yes, we went back to what we were. The only thing that changes is that in the past there were Windows, let’s call it Windows. So, you were saying first, it was theatrical; you were waiting six months. Then it was Pay TV; you were waiting six months minimum or one year. Then you were giving it to free TV, and then you were doing the DVD. It was a long cycle of recovering the investment of the production. Now there is no long cycle anymore. You go straight to the consumer.

Peter Irish: There’s a huge demand for content, right? The content demand has never really changed. But I think something you said that was interesting is the revenue models, because they are different, because they’re experimental, this fixation on subscriber numbers is not that important actually because not everybody is on a subscription model, right?

Laura Tapias: Exactly. So that’s why here in the U.S., you see Peacock. Peacock has ad based and subscription. Same place, you decide how you want to consume. Or, for the Spanish speaking, the Vix that Univision just launched. Same, they have Vix, Vix Plus. Same entity has two business models.

Peter Irish: And what about the impact on advertisers? How has streaming affected advertisers?

Laura Tapias: Advertisers need to be ready. Advertisers in Pluto, they are ready for sure. Because Pluto has a big content offering and they have, of course, it’s the first one that went out. So, it’s the first one that is accumulating more base of users, but they need to be ready for this number of users. Or you go to a big number of users, like in Pluto, or you go to this specific entity or brand that it goes specifically to your kind of audience. So, it’s very similar to when they were going to a commercial TV. I don’t know, I’m a drink. And I want to go to all the sports, so I will go to see who has the champions, who has, the NFL rights, I will go to see who has the right and I will go to sell them anyway.

Peter Irish: Okay, so in some ways it hasn’t fundamentally changed. Help me a little bit. How does Applicaster fit into this environment that we’ve just described?

Laura Tapias: Applicaster is providing the software for you to manage these streaming services. The importance of what I just said is the manage. It’s the bills, you can build it in a lot of different ways, but the management, it’s not important to build it and then, you know, only change the content. The important is the management of this streaming service. This is a business unit. Today, there is no discussion. So as a business unit you will learn, and you will need to take decisions.

So, number one that we need to take decisions in terms of how you present the content, which is this user experience that you want to offer. Not only changing the content in this little square at the top. Yes, like trying to provide the different user experiences for the moment. If you’re a sports entity for sure, you have the preseason mode and the postseason mode. But if you are an entertainment, maybe you’d like to do women’s cycle, the contents of the month of the women, whatever you can invent, whatever.

But you can just change the user experience and engage your users in a way.

The other, this happened in TV always. You remember when HBO, traditional HBO, was launching Game of Thrones, all HBO was black, and it was like Winter is Coming. So, it’s the same. You have to be able to do the same in the streaming services, because this is the way for you to engage with your content. But on the other side, you also have to be able to take decisions as you said. Okay, I think that I made a mistake only launching my streaming services only for subscription.

I really think that I have to open some kind of content with advertising and add some life events as transactional. For example, you have to be able to know how to evolve this business and technologically wise we are offering a platform that is allowing you this flexibility of managing your business, managing your streaming service in an operationally wise, much more effective way than having 200 engineers on top.

Peter Irish: You mentioned to me that also the video formats, the signal is very different depending on the channel, if you will. Right? So, you’re also influencing the signal?

Laura Tapias: No, we let them decide where they want to have the content life and on demand and what we do is to mirror that content in the way they want in all the platforms that they want to distribute it.

Peter Irish: Regardless of technology?

Laura Tapias: Yes.

Peter Irish: How long has Applicaster been operating approximately?

Laura Tapias: It’s been more than 10 years, but it took us a long time to arrive where we are. Like everybody, we started doing app after app after app, like tons of people. Yes. And then we said, look this industry is a fast paced, you know, it changed so fast and it’s not only changing the way the user consumes, but also the technology. The ROKU is changing their protocols. The Apple is changing a new operating system. So, you have to be on top of all the changes of the industry and of the technology.

Peter Irish: So, you consolidate that, make it much easier for people.

Laura Tapias: We didn’t arrive to that. It took a lot of mistakes and a lot of proven tests. We’re finally here.

Peter Irish: Is there one success you might like to highlight about Applicaster in the in the last couple of years? Something exceptional?

Laura Tapias: We have beautiful names trusting our technology – that is only a technology – and the apps out there are from them, [they] are not ours. They’re only trusted as the base of the technology. And now we have beautiful customers that are happy for more than nine years. They evolved with us, and now they’re just managing themselves. Not needing to call anybody, feeling the ownership, and having all these updates by default. Like, ‘hi you have a new update whenever you want,’ which gives a lot of peace because then they can concentrate in the business.

Peter Irish: Streaming is growing radically. I’ve seen that the numbers are likely to triple over the next couple of years in terms of revenue and that sort of thing. I presume there’s a demand also for talent and of course, you know our context, there are audiences more about executives than actors. What about skills that you or other people in the streaming universe might be looking for? Are there particular pockets of skill or experience that would be particularly attractive?

Laura Tapias: Data. Everybody that knows how to read data and how to read it and explain good stories about it. That is amazing. Because it’s not only a trend, like there’s artificial intelligence, right? It’s like a trend. You have to have artificial intelligence and you’re streaming business and it needs to give you everything to it and you will have it done. And for sure the user, will have a recommendation that likes it.

But as soon as you collect all this data, having the AI or not, it’s very important for several reasons. Number one, yes, you need to understand patterns of usage. We are animals [in] that we are repeating our patterns. This, you need to be detecting, if your user is following these patterns. Because you will need also to report it to the product people and how they present the content. Look, when I launched, I was a customer of Applicaster in the past.

So, I launched my own streaming service a long time ago and I’ve seen how is the people not consuming this TV series [on] TV? They have big ratings. And it was only because I discovered that when a TV series were on the linear TV, I was needing to place the episodes from the last one that it was on air until the first one. And if it was not on air, I was needing to place it from the first to the last. Like everything that it’s archived, let’s say, the first to the last. But anything that is on air people come to see what they missed or what. So, you have to put it upside down. This, you only know it with data.

Peter Irish: But it’s also the ability to take data and turn it into information, consumer insight essentially. Right?

Laura Tapias: And how to report it internally. Because, for example, marketing will need to know that the people that don’t move from the first episode, are not continuing to see the series. But the people that move from the first to the second, they finish the series. Then marketing will have an email, a beautiful email like saying, ‘Do you know that these characters, that these are the things to the other character,’ and then the people will go back to the second, and then they will finish the series and you have better numbers in their streaming service.

Peter Irish: Are there industries that are more likely to generate the kind of people who have this data knowledge, this ability to recognize patterns, which are not already in entertainment? I mean are there theater industries?

Laura Tapias: A lot of industries that are working with that, a lot. I was teaching the other day. I remember lessons, and sometimes they invite me. There was a girl that was telling me, ‘I’m in love with data and I just decided to move to streaming because everybody’s telling me that I have to move to streaming.’ And then she was asking me, ‘but I don’t know if to move to advertising or to move to content?’ Because advertising is also looking for this feedback of how many impacts, they have on the streaming services to provide the value of how much they pay and how much return they have from the campaign, for example.

Peter Irish: That’s wonderful.

Laura Tapias: There is a need of retaining this user and data is key. New content is key, but the user experience is needed, and this is only the retention. It’s only coming through data.

Peter Irish: Now, you and I talked about this a little bit earlier, I saw an analysis recently that suggests Apple TV Plus is really having trouble retaining its subscribers. Exactly on the subject of retention. Do you have any theories as to why that might be, what drives that?

Laura Tapias: It’s expensive and it doesn’t have enough new content. You have other options in the market that are also generic, let’s call it generic content. They’re not extreme sports. They’re not the kids only, they are generic content entertainment.

Peter Irish: Broad populations.

Laura Tapias: Exactly. So, there are other options that have similar or better prices. That already have their planning of new content production to feed the audience with new content. Or retain these audiences and make them feel that the money they are paying for the subscription is worth it.

Peter Irish: So, are you seeing a consolidation in the content providers? I would expect that, right, as a consequence.

Laura Tapias: Yes, it’s exactly what’s happening. It’s like Discovery now just merged with Warner Media. So, HBO and Discovery, we’re having two platforms now, it will be one, and it will happen soon. Let’s see how it [will be] called. And then they will have a much more robust platform with the content of both sides because it’s one company at the end. So why they have to have still two platforms?

Also, the programming. The people that were programming the traditional TV to move to streaming, to a streaming service. It has to be refreshing. Because of the retention of the user. So, to maintain your business active and positive. Now they are not only producing themselves more with co-producers, but they are also airing the new episodes once per week, like we always have been waiting for our Tuesday or Friday new episodes. So, this is happening the same. And the traditional programmers, I have a lot a lot, a lot to them.

Peter Irish: Your enthusiasm for your job and your industry and your company is self-evident, Laura. Congratulations! Do you have any thoughts about anecdotes, your own story? How did you come to be here? Is there anything you might want to share that might be encouraging for some of our audience who are still in the process of identifying that dream job the way you have?

Laura Tapias: Look, the dream job is something that makes you happy, that gives you some life. Because we spend a lot of hours working. So better you are in a place that you feel that you can provide the value for it. But in my personal story, I’ve been 10 years in looking for Windows. So, selling content, distributing content. I was working for the producers, distributing the content. I was 10 years looking for Windows. Then I had the pleasure of stopping and having two years of launching my own TV channel. So, I was managing my own window and from there, I’m 10 years distributing the window.

When this change happened, everybody told me I was crazy. Because for a person that studied communications and had been all her life in the business of entertainment, to move to technology, and it was a startup in that moment. So, to move to technology is like, what are you doing? You are managing a regional or national TV channel. This is the dream job for everybody that studied communications and you’re living it!

And I decided that I was having something else to learn because these people were also arriving to an audience, maybe faster, and I didn’t know anything about it. Anything.

So, at that moment, I was young enough, and I was not having the kids that I have, and I said, you know what? Let’s try. And now it’s 10 years of that and I learned a lot, I have to tell you. A lot. I cannot write you a line of code, but I can really give you the full stack of the architecture of the streaming service. I can put together the two knowledges, the knowledge of how to manage the TV rights for you to be able to manage where you put that up available or not available or how you show one content in one territory in another, and so on. So, to put the two things together, it has been amazing.

But at the moment that I took the decision, I had criticism and comments to maybe go back home and hide. Maybe I’m doing the biggest mistake of my life. So be brave if you feel it. I listened to my inside, my internal voice a lot and I have the feeling I was knowing that in the place, I was going to say I was going to be happy forever, but I was not going to move from there.

Peter Irish: So, if I can interpret just a little bit. What I’ve understood is you could see a bigger picture that was potentially coming, where you would be able to put these two different sets of talents together and feel more complete.

Laura Tapias: I want to learn more. Yes.

Peter Irish: And you were curious, right, and not comfortable just sitting where you were, you wanted to learn something.

Laura Tapias: That’s maybe the point, you’re right, That’s maybe the point. The moment you feel your sitting comfortable stand up and go.

Peter Irish: Well, that sounds like good advice for the kinds of people were talking to. Anyway, any last words of wisdom, Laura, for our audience of executives in transition? Anything else you’d like to share?

Laura Tapias: Look, the market is crazy right now. Everybody wants to change jobs. I think that because we were in a fast-paced move, and then we were forced to stop. And when you stop, you think about yourself, and you put the value to restructure your values. Now everybody wants to be something that makes them happy. And the market also knows that. The market also knows that everybody is available suddenly.

You know everybody is like happy to make a move. So, the only thing I have to tell you is like do a move that makes you happy and that it is a place that values you. I think that for everybody it’s over the moment of yes, I need the salary, I will do whatever, it doesn’t matter. I think that it arrives the moment that everything is back to be alive and everybody’s looking. At the end, you have to choose to be happy and to go back home happy.

Peter Irish: Well, that’s what they say. If you’re happy, the money will follow. Thank you very much, Laura. It was a wonderful pleasure, and I appreciate very much your taking this time to join us.

Laura Tapias: Thank you, super pleasure, anytime.

Peter Irish: Thank you.

Read next: INDUSTRY UPDATE: Construction & Real Estate – April 2022 

construction real estate

INDUSTRY UPDATE: Construction & Real Estate – April 2022


In this Update, we decided to marry two industries that are quite intertwined. We felt we could provide a better prospective on the total executive market in these sectors if we combined them. Nevertheless, at least at the outset, let us look into the major segments of Construction and Real Estate. And understand some of the underlying factors driving demand.

In the US, conventional wisdom expected the housing market to cool off a bit in 2022. But here’s what Fortune has to say about the current state of play:

“Entering into 2022, the consensus among much of the real estate industry was that the spring housing market—the industry’s peak season—would be a bit less frenzied this year. After all, it couldn’t get much worse than the 2021 spring housing market, when over 70% of home listings saw a bidding war, right?”

“Unfortunately for would-be homebuyers, that conventional wisdom has shifted. Not only does the spring housing market look like it’ll be red-hot, there’s a chance this goes down as the hottest spring home-buying season ever. Already, bidding wars are picking up again.”

So apparently, there is simply a lack of residential inventory in the US. [See source.]

Europe shows a similar trend in the imbalance between supply and demand. But there is another factor apparently driving pricing in the European residential market. Daniela Gabor is a professor of economics and macro-finance at the University of the West of England. Sebastian Kohl is at Berlin’s Free University. Research carried out by Gabor and Kohl suggests that Europe’s housing has become an increasingly attractive “asset class” for investors. This is in part due to near-zero interest rates and an encouraging regulatory framework.

“European central bank data shows that real estate funds in the Eurozone reached €1tn in 2021, the size of Spain’s GDP, from about €350bn in 2010. Within that, residential assets are said to be an increasingly important part.” [See source.]

And another key factor is the shift that the pandemic has brought to the utilization of real estate for offices or hotels versus other uses.

“Institutions’ deployment patterns are shifting, with sector allocations moving away from traditional segments such as offices and retail, and toward emerging areas of focus, including rental housing, healthcare, student accommodation, and self-storage, which offer stable income streams. Capital market activity in 2020 across offices and retail [was] down 31% and 6% year-on-year, respectively, in stark contrast to the pan-European logistics space, which saw investment volumes up 14%. [See source.]

Construction also seems set for continued growth. One source highlighted an expected spending increase for construction in the US. It is expected to increase from $1.67 to $1.79 trillion between 2021 to 2023 (See source.) Obviously, this increase is reliant that the industry can find the roughly 650,000 incremental employees required to support this increase.

Demand for residential housing remains high. There appear to be five major types of projects driving the demand on the commercial side of the construction industry in the US. These are distribution centers and warehouses, data centers, shipping ports, life sciences, and state and federal infrastructure. (See source.)

In Europe the trends are similar.

For example, we have this news coming out of Germany: “Financial figures from the [construction] associations indicate that a high order backlog in 2021 means that sales will increase by 5.5% next year. [This is] significantly higher than the €143.5 billion achieved in 2021, which was only 0.5% up on 2020.”

“The growth projection is likely to be led by the strong performance of the country’s residential construction sector, which has remained resilient throughout the pandemic.” (See source.)

The Middle East (ME) is also expected to see an uptick in construction growth. This is powered perhaps by four major trends. These trends are large new commercial and residential projects, sustainable energy investments, growth in modular housing, and digitalization infrastructure. (See source.)

And the ME market’s construction demand will therefore also most probably recover. For example, “…[the] construction industry in the United Arab Emirates is expected to grow by 6.8% to reach AED 245,982 million in 2022.” (See source.)

The Demand For Executives

In total, some 917,000 executives as we define them (see Editor’s Note) worked in these industries in the latest period. This is an increase of just 1% year on year (YOY). And only about 2% changed jobs in the most recent months. This is a relatively low churn rate compared to other industries we have studied. Approximately one-third of these are located in the EU, UK, and ME markets. They are a pool that grew by 2% in the last year. This is while the remaining roughly 600,000 worked in the US. Ths U.S. is a group that grew by just 0.8% YOY.

Top 50 Employers of Executives- Chart 1

In the US, this cohort breaks down further into three major segments. There are about 341,000 in construction. 233,000 of these are in (residential) Real Estate. While 31,270 are in Commercial Real Estate. The latter shows the largest growth (+2%). D.R. Horton, Clark Construction Corp, and Black and Veatch are the largest employers of executives in the construction industry. While CBRE, JLL, and Newmark lead the general Real Estate area. Meanwhile, Colliers, Cushman & Wakefield, and Transwestern represent the top tier in the Commercial Real Estate ranking.

Top 50 Industries by Number of Execs-Chart 2
In the EU, UK & ME cohort some 200,000 are active in construction (+1%). There’s 118,000 in (residential) Real Estate (+2%), and 10,000 in Commercial Real Estate (+2%). Here we find Skanska, Strabag, and Ance are the largest employers of executives in the construction segment. Also, Gerant, ORPI, and JLL in the general Real Estate area. Meanwhile, Colliers, Eastdil Secured, and Cushman & Wakefield employ the most executives in the Commercial Real Estate sector.

But, overall it would seem that the transatlantic integration is most advanced in the Commercial Real Estate segment. Though in the sheer number of executives employed, CBRE, JLL, and Colliers lead the way. (See Chart 1.) Growth in executive employment, however, is a different story. Firms such as Eastdil Secured, Stream Realty Partners, and Greystar lead the pack. It so happens that Eastdil Secured saw a spike in hiring and departures in June of 2021. They added staff from Wells Fargo, JLL, CBRE, SEO London, Newmark, KPMG, and Accenture (among others). Also, Stream Realty has grown steadily during 2021 and into 2022. According to our research, Stream Realty acquired talent mainly from JLL, Colliers, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, and Transwestern. Finally, Greystar had net talent gains from FPI Management, The Finger Companies, and Asset Living.

Within the overall industrial grouping of Construction and Real Estate, executives list a vast range of sub-industries that employ them. Chart 2 quantifies these industries. Financial Services is the largest. It is followed by Management Consulting, IT, Marketing & Advertising, and Non-profit Management as the top five.

Several segments have added executives in the last year at an above-average rate. These segments include Venture Capital & Private Equity (+6.1%), Events Services (+5.8%), Environmental Services (+5.7%), Investment Management (+4.9%), and Financial Services (+4.6%).

It is probably no surprise that the share of female executives in this industrial grouping is relatively low (just 17% overall). But there are pockets with higher ratios. Some are, for example, Health, Wellness & Fitness (33%), Non-profit Organization Management and Accounting (both 31%), Education Management and Event Services (both 30%), and Design (29%). Of course, recent corporate focus on diversity may actually lead to higher demand going forward. Let’s stay tuned.

There are 180,000 executives who cited Construction and/or Construction Management as their primary specialization. Aside from those 180,000, we find a rather broad spectrum of additional specializations within the Construction & Real Estate business area. These are highlighted in Chart 3.

Top 50 Specializations-Chart 3

Obviously, some of these specializations are indeed particular to this industrial cohort, These are such as expertise in Residential Real Estate, Real Estate Development, and Commercial Real Estate. We also find the specialties of Renovation, Real Estate Economics, Green Building, and many more. Roughly speaking, about 40% of these executives have cited specializations specific to this industry grouping. That means, of course, that about 60% of these specializations are relatively generic. These could represent an opportunity for executives who want to enter or leave this sector. Transferring executives would need to demonstrate transferability of skills. They would thereby move laterally or vertically to another industry, role, company, and/or geography.

Editor’s note: The Barrett Group team are experts at helping our clients demonstrate the transferability of their skills and experience. Providing assistance in changing industry verticals is a major area of focus for us.

But let’s return to the subject of gender for a moment. Let us highlight specializations that show a relatively high female share (Chart 3). It certainly seems that subjects involving higher emotional intelligence. These are such as Working with First[1]Time Home Buyers, Relocation, and Social Media Marketing attract a higher share of female executives. However, there are other pockets where the reasons are less evident. These are such as Short Sales, Condos, and even Foreclosures. Again, it is certainly our belief that over time this broad industry will become more diverse in multiple ways. These are including an easing of the historical male gender bias so that growth in opportunity for women may well be disproportionately large in the coming years.

Main Titles-Main Titles

Chart 4 provides an overview of the main titles within this cohort. Whereby only the CFO (33%) and Chief Marketing Officer (38%) show significantly higher females shares.

So Where Are All Of These Executive Positions In The Construction & Real Estate Industry Grouping?

Number of Execs per Location-Chart 5

Readers of these Updates will not be surprised to see New York at the top of the list in terms of the total number of executives. Though the difference in this cohort is not as extreme as in many others that we have studied. But Los Angeles is not that far behind. Also, numbers 3 and 4, Miami and Washington DC, are still almost 50% as large as New York.

Still, none of those important centers of concentration shows high growth in the number of executives employed. The growth is definitely in the ME region (UAE, +3.3%, Egypt, +3%, and Saudi Arabia, +2.6%). Next, we find growth is also then in Europe (Lyon, +2.3%, and Stockholm, +2.2%). In fact, according to our data, only one US city in the top 50 makes it to 2% growth—Nashville (+2.1%).

In the ME region, ALDAR (+23%, UAE), Amer Group (+11%, Egypt), DAMAC Properties (+10%, UAE), and Talaat Moustafa Group (+29%, Egypt) are among the top five employers of executives in this industry grouping. These help to drive regional growth to about 3% YOY.

Meanwhile, in Sweden, Stockholm and Gothenburg are both showing approximately 2% growth in executives employed. They are propelled by Skanska, Newsec, Fastighetsägarna, HSB, Serneke, and Framtiden Byggutveckling AB. However, in greater Lyon (France), this executive pool has grown by more than 3% in the past year. These top employers are such as ORPI, Guy Hoquet L’Immobilier, and Laforêt France. And they are helping to drive the trend.

Peter Irish, CEO The Barrett Group 
Click Here To Download A Printable Version: Industry Update – Construction & Real Estate

Editor Note:

In this particular Industry Update, “executives” will generally refer to the Vice President, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Information Officer, Managing Partner, and President titles. And unless otherwise noted, the data in this Update will largely come from LinkedIn and represents a snapshot of the market as it was at the time of the research.

Is LinkedIn truly representative? Here’s a little data: LinkedIn has approximately 722 million users, 174 million in the US, and 163 million in Europe. (See Source.) LinkedIn is by far the largest and most robust business database in the world, now in its 18th year. LinkedIn defines the year-over-year change (YOY Change) as the change in the number of professionals divided by the count as of last year. “Attrition” is defined as the departures in the last 12 months divided by the average headcount over the last year.

seventy-five careers that thrive

Seventy-Five Careers that Thrive

Each of us has probably had the experience of being at the top of our game. And then we discover a few weeks or months later that after the peak there often comes a valley. The answer is to recognize where you are on the so-called sigmoid curve. And make your move when you are approaching the top (whether in income, influence, and/or satisfaction). The key is to maintain your upward momentum. Now it seems that the entire executive market is approaching one of those moments. So perhaps you better get going.

How can we say that?

Look At The Facts. By The Middle Of March Fully Seventy-Five Of Our Clients Have Landed Executive Positions So Far This Year.

And Not Just Any Position But Fantastic Titles Such As:

-Chairman of the Board
-Chief Information Officer
-Chief Operating Officer
-Director of Design and Construction
-Director, Private Bank Lending
-Financial Fund Advisor/Tech Investment Consultant
-General Counsel
-General Manager
-Global CFO
-Head of Customer Engagement
-Head of Europe
-Investor Relations, Head
-Head of Product
-Head of Sales
-Interm GM
-Managing Director
-Managing Partner & Shareholder
-Middle East Africa Regional CFO
-Operating Partner
-Partnerships Managing Director
-President North America
-Vice President
-Vice President Business Development
-VP of Operations
-Vice President of Sales
-VP Solutions Research

You see locations such as North America and Europe or Middle East Africa show up in these titles. Why? Because we help clients find opportunities. And that’s regardless of where they are. Our tried and true process actually turns the process of looking for a job on its head! How? Our clients find themselves offering solutions to companies rather than simply seeking a job. That is possible because most of our clients land through the powerful unpublished market—opportunities so new that they have never been formalized into a position profile and, more importantly, often no specific compensation has yet been defined. That means our clients have tremendous latitude to influence the specific scope of the role and therefore its compensation.

Sure, We Also Work In The Published Market And The Recruiter Markets.

These are where our three decades of experience help our clients sort through the dross to find the gold. Our clients actually meet decision-makers instead of getting the brush-off from algorithms or gatekeepers.

The secret is that our process begins with a unique understanding of each client via the Targeting step (the Clarity Program©) that allows each client to really reexamine and redefine his or her career and whole-life targets right from the get-go. All of our clients want a change. Some want a new location. Others, a new title. Still others, more money or a new industry. That is why our process takes nothing for granted. We do not simply apply a cookie-cutter approach, but carefully custom-tailor each campaign to our clients’ unique aspirations.

As a consequence, clients see their incomes go up (along with their satisfaction). The average salary-only compensation for clients landing so far this year was more than $200,000 while some successful souls pulled in $500,000-$700,000—excluding perks and benefits. Three decades of supporting client compensation negotiations has made us THE experts in discovering additional salary, bonus, benefits, and/or equity so that we regularly add $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 (or more) to the offer during the negotiation.

Here’s What One Recent Client Had To Say About His Negotiation:

“We had some aggressive negotiations over the compensation package. Dan Resendes [The Barrett Group’s SVP Client Services] coached me on these and came up with some unique and very helpful questions to ask about the offer letter. I ended up having a very successful negotiation. Dan did a phenomenal job. My benefits at this company are awesome.” (Sven Leverson 2021, Read More)

Are we specialists in one industry vertical or another? Not at all. Our secret sauce is that our proven methodology works worldwide and in all industries. Here is a sample of the business segments where our clients have recently landed:

-Airlines & Aerospace
-Financial Services
-Hospitals, Healthcare & Pharmaceutical
-Industrial Machinery & Equipment Manufacturing
-Information Technology & Services
-Management Consulting
-Media & Entertainment
-Real Estate
-Restaurants, Food & Beverage
-Transportation & Delivery
-Travel, Hospitality & Leisure
-Utilities, Energy, & Extraction

Even distressed industries such as Restaurants and Travel are hiring executives. But that’s if you know where to look! That is the power of the unpublished market.

Here’s Sven again:

“The number of offerings and the training provided by The Barrett Group [were] so helpful. I’m a process type of guy, and I really enjoyed this process. [I wanted to] know what I was doing wrong in my search and, lo and behold, I found out that coming in through the back door to land a job is the recipe for success. I had never done that in the past. I was just sending out resumes and hoping!” (Sven Leverson 2021, Read More)

Are You Ready To Make It Seventy-Five, Plus One?

So if you have that creeping feeling that you are down in the valley professionally or that others succeed while you’re just standing still? Perhaps it is time for you to get a leg up, to grasp that helping hand, to take on a guide who can show you the way back to your deserved peak success. We helped seventy-five clients so far this year. And we would be happy to make you seventy-six! Give us a call.

Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group


VC – The Barrett Group’s CEO Interviews Managing Director of Allos Ventures

The Barrett Group’s CEO Peter Irish Interviews David Kerr, Managing Director At Allos Ventures As They Discuss The Challenges And Opportunities Within Venture Capital 

Click here to watch the full interview.

Peter Irish: Hello there. Welcome to this edition of the Hiring Line. I’m Peter Irish with the Barrett Group, and it’s my great pleasure to welcome David Kerr from Allos Ventures today. David, would you be so kind as to introduce yourself?

David Kerr: Sure. Peter, thank you for having me on today. My name is David Kerr. I’m the managing director at Allos Ventures. Allos is a venture capital fund based in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are a fund that is focused on business- to-business (B2B) software-as-a-service (SAAS) companies. Allos invests at a very early stage; at the seed stage, the seed plus stage, and the Series A stage. We focus on companies that are headquartered in the U. S. Midwest. So, we feel like that’s been undercapitalized, underserved area for many years, and so that’s where we target our companies and our founders. We have a few things that are outside of that geography, but for the most part, that’s where we are focused.

And prior to that, I’ve spent the last 25 years as an operator. I’ve been a CEO, a COO and a general manager at all sorts of companies, tech companies and tech-enabled service companies. Everything from a three-person startup to Groupon and kind of everything in between as I’ve been in that operating phase of my career before I moved into venture capital.

Peter Irish: So, David, it’s great to know that you’ve come up through the ranks in terms of operational roles, and you’re now in a more strategic role, running whole portfolio companies. I wonder if you could tell us what you do from day to day. What’s your current role and responsibility?

David Kerr: Sure. Venture capital really focuses around, or at least where we invest, the stage we invest, around four different specific areas. One is fundraising. We have to go convince limited partners to be part of our fund. And those are institutions, those are high net worth individuals, those are family offices. And we have to convince them that we are good stewards of their money and that our thesis and our approach is one that will give them returns that they’re looking for. So fundraising is one of those pillars.

The second one is sourcing deals. So, we are always on the lookout. We participate in all kinds of events. Marketing and outbound marketing initiatives are important. We go to accelerators and incubators and folks like that. And what we’re doing is we’re looking for entrepreneurs that are starting businesses that fit within our thesis. So, sourcing deals is the second part of it.

Then you have to win the deal. There is lots of capital out in the marketplace right now and lots of competition. And so you have to convince that entrepreneur that, assuming they want more than just capital, that you bring additional value-add to the table. Then, once you win the deal, it’s working with the portfolio company in whatever areas that they need. Whether that be building a leadership team, or go to market, or thinking about product and pricing, product market fit, and then, typically, once you’ve gotten on the venture capital train, it’s finding that next round of funding. So, then we introduce them to the deeper pockets that are in the later stages.

And then, the fourth area is really what would be considered the harvest phase. Once you’ve gotten it to a certain level, we are typically in these deals for 7 to 10 years, then it’s finding what is the appropriate exit path and exit ramp for the company. So that we are able to return capital to our limited partners. So those are the four, maybe five, with a sub-bullet in there, areas that we that we focus on, that I spend my days on.

We have fully invested in three funds. Right now, I’ve been a part of one fund, Allos 3. We have assets under management of about 150 million. And in those first three funds, we have approximately 40 companies. In our Series A, we have a higher concentration. So, in Allos 3, we have 15 companies that are Series A where we’ve invested a higher number of dollars. And then we also have an Alpha Program where we do some investments into companies that we hope will mature into a Series A that we can be in a position to lead that. But overall, over those first three funds, it’s roughly 40 companies.

Peter Irish: That sounds like a fascinating role, and I think many could be envious of your responsibilities. But, David, I know your business faces a lot of challenges and opportunities and also your portfolio companies. I wonder if you could tell us a little bit more about that. What sort of challenges? What sort of opportunities are you currently facing?

David Kerr: Well, so I think there is two areas I’d like to talk about here. One is the business. The challenges we face as a venture capital firm. And two would be the challenges our portfolio companies face. From a venture capital firm, the challenges we face in the US right now, there are more than 1,000 venture funds that are under $100 million. There’s a lot of competition, both for limited partners in those funds, and then for allocation of capital.

And then, you know, over $100 million – I don’t know what the numbers are, but my guess is there’s another 1,000 plus. Some are the very well-known, marquis brand kind of funds that you are competing with. So, part of it is competition for deals and part of it is competition for limited partner dollars. I would say what Covid has done is it’s really opened [the market]. Used to be the concentration of capital is in Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, and then you kind of move to some other areas, like Austin, Texas, and areas like that.

But 70-80% of all venture capital has historically gone into Silicon Valley area and the Northeast part of the U. S. Now, after Covid, people are doing deals over Zoom. So it has broadened the competition, I would say. Because people can come into Indianapolis or Madison, Wisconsin, or wherever and still be very competitive there. So that’s a challenge that we face.

And then let’s state from our portfolio companies. The challenges they faced with the challenges that every company that’s going from zero to a million dollars or a million dollars to five or $10 million spaces it is attracting and retaining talent. Especially on the leadership side of things, because, you know, you talk about your network of executives, they’re in a heated competition to attract those folks, and now, especially with remote work or hybrid remote, makes it even more competitive.

And then, just as the general nature of that stage of company, you are trying to convince typically, since we do business to business, these larger enterprises, that you are credible and valid and can deliver a solution that is going to meet a need. Maybe you are a 10-person company or a 20- or 30-person company, and you are trying to serve a big company that is publicly traded and has 30,000 employees.

Peter Irish: Well, for understandable reasons, you focus perhaps more on the challenges. What about opportunities, David? Could you maybe highlight some of the opportunities you see?

David Kerr: I still think we’re really in the nascent stages of the digital transformation. You know, we think about iPhones and iPads and all the automation that we’ve seen. I think there are just tremendous opportunities still, in many companies in the early stages to automate processes, systems, workflows. All these things that that software has not addressed yet. So, I think it is a golden age for an entrepreneur. There is so much capital out there, and there are so many problems that can be solved, can be addressed. So, I think those are massive opportunities that are out there.

The other thing is because there is so much capital out there, depending on the target exit size that you are looking at. You don’t have to go public to have a venture-backed exit. There are plenty of other companies that they are kind of, you know, the bigger fish eating the smaller fish and so on. That gives an entrepreneur an opportunity or a venture fund to exit along the way. So, I think there is still tremendous opportunity, not only here in the US, but then as I look more broadly across the globe. Lots of opportunity for continued digital transformation.

Peter Irish: Let’s shift the conversation to skills and experience a little bit. Obviously, you’ve displayed a great spectrum of skills and experience in getting to where you are. Are there specific skills or kinds of experience that are in demand from your perspective, either for your industry or for your portfolio companies?

David Kerr: So I think, in the venture world, you typically see two paths to venture capital. One is a finance path, and that is typically the most common. And there is almost an apprenticeship type of approach that’s been there. But that’s really being broken up quite a bit, I would say. Younger people entering just are not willing to wait the way that our generation did, and I think it’s a good thing that they are breaking down barriers and so forth. But there’s this finance path into venture.

And then there’s the operating path that I took, which I’m certainly biased towards. Because I feel like I have empathy, understanding, a connection with entrepreneurs that maybe others on the finance side can’t quite have. I know the roller coaster that everybody rides every day of winning a big customer, losing the big customer, getting a new employee, somebody quitting, all those kinds of things. That gives me some appreciation for that. So, I think there’s a couple of paths there to go in.

And then on the portfolio company’s side, typically, what we are investing, it is all about the people at this stage that we are investing in. We don’t have the benefit of years of audited financials and financial engineering and all these kinds of things. So, we’re really looking at the people. The product market fit. And then how do you begin to build a team around that entrepreneur? So typically, the entrepreneur might be a first-time founder that has lived the problem they’re trying to solve. Or they might be a second time founder that has some scars and maybe successes or failures. But they have run into just the grind of what it takes to build a company, and so we look at those folks.

Then it’s how do you begin to build around there? So, when I think about your network, you know, I think we all think this is all 28-year-olds that are getting this venture capital and changing the world. I forget the exact statistic, but I believe most venture backed companies in the most successful ones I want to say the age bracket is somewhere in the mid-forties, mid- to late forties. It’s because experience matters.

And so, I think, not only from a founder perspective, but then building that team around them, whether that be a finance leader, which, typically, founders are like, I can do that, I can outsource that. But it’s somebody that they need early on if they’re going to take venture capital, or a sales or a growth leader, or even a COO. Maybe it’s an over-titled term at a 10- or 15-person company, but somebody that can really think about the operational aspect of those companies and how you scale that to get to $5-, $10-, $20 million.

Peter Irish: Other people in other industries have said to me new skill requirements have of kind of bubbled to the top. For example, a hospital operator said, you know, we have masses and masses of data. We don’t have anybody who can really interpret that data to provide information out of it. So, we’ve been recruiting from big tech and big data sources where we would never have done before. Do you see any kind of shift in the let’s say, still demand?

David Kerr: I’m going to say yes and no. So, I would agree with your comment around the need for not just data scientists but people that are going to operate based on data. Every company that is tech-enabled now or a software company has lots of data and should be data driven and metrics driven, from that perspective. So, I tried and somewhat failed to convince my kids to take statistics in college or in high school or whatever, and really think about kind of the data portion of their future career.

Because I believe firmly that no matter what they do, whether you are a product leader, a sales leader or whatever it may be, that this understanding of data and being able to not only interpret it, and sometimes use a tool like tableau to cut and slice it, and so that you’ve got a better understanding of it. So, I think those are some skill sets.

Also, I think you have to be technically adept. I’ve got a liberal arts background. I don’t have any engineering background and I’ve run engineering teams and software companies and these things. But I think understanding how you connect the dots of software either to help your internal operation or that it can solve problems for customers. So, I think those are areas where people need to adapt. But I also believe where it hasn’t changed is – [referring to the] stage of companies that we are in – is these intangibles. It is scrappiness; grit; curiosity. It is relationship building, team building; and culture building. And so, I think those things are time tested.

Just saying culture building, when I’ve worked back in my twenties, culture was not really a thing. I guess there was a culture there, but it wasn’t a thing. You kind of went in, you did your work that your boss told you to do and showed up on time. And you worked hard. Maybe someday they give you a raise or they gave you a promotion. I do think now really embracing culture, that the generation that is coming to work today, if you are a leader and a manager, helping to foster culture. You can’t create it from the top down but helping to foster that and recognize the benefits of it, it is probably a different skill set that people need to adapt to.

Peter Irish: That’s good to hear, because I was starting to think it’s all about analysis and very intellectual tasks. And what you’re telling me is that emotional intelligence is still important. Would you agree?

David Kerr: I would absolutely agree. And it’s fascinating to me, especially in this competitive world where there’s big pay packages and option packages and things like that. Especially here in the Midwest. I don’t know if it’s a Midwest values kind of thing, but if you can create a culture that people want to be there. They don’t have to believe as much in the product that you’re selling, but the people that are working with the problems we’re solving for customers that back in that can offset some of the compensation. If somebody just comes and says, here’s a big check, but it’s a toxic culture or there is no culture, I’m finding you can retain people or attract people to a company with those kinds of cultures.

Peter Irish: Allegedly millennials are more interested in some of that than they are in the direct compensation, and I can understand why.

David Kerr: I would say it’s more than allegedly. We’ve seen it firsthand that that has worked.

Peter Irish: Now there’s a lot of opportunity. Obviously, as we said behind the whole venture capital or private equity area. For example, your company, you have about 40 portfolio companies if I understand it correctly, and perhaps they have maybe four executives each. So that’s a pool of about 160 executives that you need to manage on an ongoing basis. May I ask what sort of turn sort of turnover is there in that population?

David Kerr: So, I would characterize it by function. Typically, we are investing in a founder. And the company has got real problems if you’re churning the founder/CEO. So, let’s set that one aside. The biggest churn that occurs would be in the go to market team, in the sales and the marketing lead. And I think that’s not just small companies. I think that’s with large companies as well.

Some of that is due to a sales leader is measured based on quarterly performance and things like that. Usually there is a ramp period and people give them a period of time. But sometimes there is either a fit or there is not a fit. And so, you see that, and it could be either way – it could be from the company’s perspective of the individual’s perspective. I wouldn’t say we see a higher amount of turnover in those specifically in the in the sales leadership or the marketing leadership. It’s more stable in a product or engineering and in a finance leadership role. Not that there’s not some turnover or attrition there, but it’s pretty stable.

And then the next stages of companies. So, let’s say the company, we’re kind of $0 to $10 million, and then a bigger check comes in or much, much bigger check comes in. We’re investing in rounds that are $5 million, maybe $10 million, and then then these rounds are like $20, $30, $40 million. Those next rounds there may require a different level of experience in that finance leader, or in that go to market leader, or those kinds of things. So that’s the other area where you’ll see change based on chapter or stage of the company.

Peter Irish: That, of course, makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the perspective. Let’s turn a little bit to your own experience. And I wonder if you might have an anecdote from your own experience that might be inspiring for those people who are still in the process of identifying their next professional role.

David Kerr: So, like I said, about 25 years ago, I moved from non tech roles. I own some companies in the non tech world, little companies that I bought and grown. Then I would be getting into the tech world. And so, I started, as you know, it was an over titled position as president of, like, a three-person startup. When we sold that company, I had an opportunity and ended up taking a role in the acquiring company, which was a much larger one. And then through a whole series of events, I ended up buying our intellectual property back and restarting the company.

And then I sold the company again, and typically in those kind of situations, there is an earn-out period, and you’re required to stay with the acquiring company for a year or two, or whatever it might be. Oftentimes that can be smothering because you’ve been an entrepreneur and suddenly a boss and boss’s boss and just a whole different world. And you’re used to be in kind of cowboy-nation. Hey, we’re going to do this side or the other. In this particular case, I was in my two-year window, and I would meet with my boss. And I’ve been doing the same thing because of this cycle of growing up from three people and selling it and re-buying I and so forth for quite some time. So, I was ready for something new. Every time I’d have my one on one, I would focus on my metrics and what my one on one was about. But I would always say at the end, hey, if there are any other opportunities in the company that I could blend my skills to I’d be happy to do it.

And one day, just in our conversation, he said that our president of Europe just resigned, turned in their termination notice, and we’re going to hire somebody in Europe to do that. But I need somebody to go over there and tend the store for 30 to 60 days. So, I think I can do it and I’m in. You know, that was like on a Wednesday and on the next Monday I was on a plane, and four years later I moved back to the U. S.

My family eventually came with me, but it was, I think, being opportunistic, being patient, but always kind of raising my hand and saying, hey, I’m willing to take on a task that may not seem like it’s really in my wheelhouse. I had no international experience, I had entrepreneurial experience, but I had a willingness and that was a that was genuinely one of the most rewarding, personally, and professionally times of my career that I’ve ever had.

Peter Irish: That coincides very nicely with something I shared in our pre discussion. Fabiano Aguilar, who runs a similar kind of fund, also told me that one of the secrets was always raise your hand when there’s an opportunity, and I think you’d agree with him. Now, do you have any other words of wisdom you might like to share with our executive audience today?

David Kerr: You know, I would say it kind of goes just building off what we were just talking about. I think being opportunistic, and I mean that in the most positive sense. Not taking advantage of a situation but being opportunistic and being willing. I think sometimes people pigeonholed themselves. They think, well, I’ve done this, have been in finance for 20 years. That’s all I could do. Or, I’ve only been an engineering lead for 20 years. That’s all I can do. You have a lot more skill sets than you may think you have. And I would say, be opportunistic, think a little bit outside of the box.

And then also I would say, assess your risk profile. I don’t think there’s any right or wrong on a risk profile. I work in a world of what would be typically perceived as very high risk with these small companies. But they can be extraordinarily exhilarating, inspiring. You know if they work out, they can be financially rewarding as well. And it’s not always big companies that is the safe bet. And the company that satisfies your passion.

Peter Irish: Lastly, thank you very much for coming on the program today, David. It’s been a great pleasure interviewing you, and I wish you great success there in the Silicon Prairie with the development of your fund and your portfolio companies. Thank you.

David Kerr: I appreciate you having me on, and I’ve enjoyed the conversation.

Read next: Industry Update – Venture Capital / Private Equity

female executives

INDUSTRY UPDATE: Female Executives – March 2022


We are often asked questions such as have women made real progress in infiltrating the executive ranks. And what is the prognosis going forward? We thought therefore that it makes sense to see where the female executive ranks stand at the moment so we can take stock in the future.

The Economist recently published their Glass Ceiling Index. (See Source). And it provides an excellent gauge for how various countries have developed. Especially with respect to female participation. These are specifically in managerial positions, company boards, seats in parliament, etc. And we encourage readers to look into this broader view as their interests may dictate. According to this source, it seems that women are making some progress. But, that progress is uneven at best.

So our focus here will be on executive populations in our target geography. (US, EU, UK and Middle East (ME). These are a snapshot with some reflection on growth and participation rates. (See the Editor’s Note for further definition.)

At a very high level, and from a target population of 7.86 million executives, only 24% are female. This breaks down to about 4.7 million in the US. Of these, 27% are female. And 3.2 million in the EU, UK, and ME. Of these, 21% are female. Meanwhile, the overall executive population grew by just 1% in the past year. Because almost 248,000 changed jobs, this resulted in a churn of 3.2%. Including the background growth, therefore, there were a total of about 320,000 opportunities for executives to obtain a new role in the past year.

And Chart 1_Executive Titles and Female Participation.

The left-hand portions of Chart 1 provide an overview of the top 50 titles within this population. It also reveals the percentage of each title that is held by females. The right-hand side re-sorts the same data. Chart 1 shows in descending order titles most frequently held by women. But it is perhaps not surprising. Human Resources and Marketing figure highly on this ranking. However, the question remains. So why are women less frequent in some of the fastest-growing executive roles. And what can women do about that?

And Chart 2_Executives in the Top 50 Industries.

Per Chart 2,  it contains Construction and Financial Services. And adding in Information Technology & Services and Real Estate, these are comprising the four largest industries. But interestingly though, these industries do not show the highest growth rates. On that score, Environmental Services, Internet businesses show growth. Along with Investment Management and Staffing and Recruiting show growth. These industries all show 2.6-2.8% YOY growth in the number of executives employed.

And Female Executives Top 50 Industries-Chart 3.
Chart 3 shows the industries with the highest share of female executives. Whereby E-learning and again Staffing & Recruiting represent the fastest-growing segments here.
And Only Female Executives per Industry-Chart 4.

Recalculating the actual number of female executives and based on the data in Chart 2, we offer the overview in Chart 4. It provides a ranking of industries employing the most female executives. Within each of the top six industry categories here are the largest employers. And most of these are based in the US unless otherwise indicated:

  • Financial Services: JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citi, and also Wells Fargo.
  • Hospital & Health Care: Kaiser Permanente, United Health Care, and also HCA Healthcare.
  • Non-profit Organizations: AIESEC (Canada), Toastmasters International, and also Future Business Leaders of America.
  • Real Estate: CBRE, JLL, and also Newmark.
  • Marketing & Advertising: “Selbstständig” (self-employed, Germany), Edelman, and also “Selbstständig” (self-employed, Switzerland).
  • Health, Wellness & Fitness: Stay at Home Mom (UK), Cigna, and also Aetna.
And so we wanted to sample what some of these top employers of women executives are saying on the subject of gender equity. We took a look at the prominent players in the largest category: Financial Services.

“As featured last month [March 2021] in Bloomberg Equality, JPMorgan Chase has eliminated gender-specific language from its bylaws. Including replacing “chairman” with “chair.” … [And also] removing gendered pronouns like “his” and “her.” This announcement is consistent with the bank’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. … [and this commitment] includes a $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity and a commitment to expanding a diverse workforce.”

“Language is a powerful tool for inclusion. A 2019 Swedish study discovered that promoting the use of gender-neutral pronouns ‘reduces biases favoring men, which encourages more positive views of women, homosexuals, and transgender people. … [and this allows] the nonmale group to become more pronounced.’ The gender neutrality conversation is becoming more acknowledged. … “[And there are] about one-in-five U.S. adults knowing someone who goes by a gender-neutral pronoun.” (See Source.)”

Citi also released a “Women in Finance Charter Report” in 2019. It set global gender goals. These goals include an increase in the female share of certain executive positions. (See Source).

So this seems to be a common approach with Wells Fargo. They also added, for example, “…diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics are integrated into monthly business review meetings. (See Source.)

But within the Hospital & Health Care industry, Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest employers of women. Kaiser Permanente says: “Our boards are 38% women. And 38% people of color. In 2020, 53% of the CEO’s direct reports were women. And nearly 43% of the executive medical directors were women. (See Source.)” Meanwhile, United Health Care emphasizes the pay equity aspect of their diversity and inclusion policy. “We are committed to and continue to prioritize pay equity for all employees. Fair and equitable compensation practices within a pay-for-performance framework. [These practices support] our culture and are critical to achieving our mission. We continue to work with independent, third-party experts to perform reviews of our compensation practices. [And we] evaluate pay equity in several respects, including by gender, ethnicity, and race. (See Source.)

At least on the surface, it seems that leading employers in these industries have taken steps. They are crafting policies that target improved gender balances. Barrett Group clients have access to substantially more information. Our clients are able to formulate and pursue their career strategies. And this is whether at the geographic, industry, or functional levels.

And Areas of Specialization. Chart 5.
As far as specializations or skills are concerned, Chart 5 offers an overview of how executives characterize their areas of expertise. This information comes from LinkedIn.

New Business Development and Sales Management come out on top. Next, these are followed by Finance and Budgeting in terms of sheer numbers of executives. And are altogether representing about 35% of the total. These top-ranked specializations range from 17% female to 25%. But whereas seen from the female share perspective, Nonprofit Organizations (45%), and Fundraising (44%) constitute the specializations with the highest shares of female executives. And also Human Resources (40%), Leadership Development, and Social Networking (38%) are highly ranked.

Return to The Economist article highlighted earlier in this Update. It pointed out the ongoing pay differentials between the sexes. These may well be improving. But the differences are still quite evident.  And we would simply add that it is not only the rate of pay that is causing this difference. But also the areas of specialization. Typically, sales and business development are among the best-paid roles in many companies and industries. Unfortunately, so far at least, the female share of these best-compensated specializations is still quite low.

And Total Executives per Location. Chart 6.
We often tend to look at these subjects in isolation, of course. But location, industry, and employer are intimately linked.

Nevertheless, the mix is apparently distinct per location. See Chart 6. As it often does, New York always seems to stand out in terms of the overall number of executives.  And in this case, New York has a fairly average 27% female share. New York is followed by Los Angeles (26% female), and then London (23%).

In terms of growth, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the highest growth in executive populations YOY and the female share. This is as evidenced by the UAE, Frankfurt, Saudi Arabia, and Munich.

And Only Female Executives per Location. Chart 7.
Chart 7 reselects only the female executive populations and re-ranks the locations. While, among many other changes, London moves down the ranking. Meanwhile, San Francisco moves up.
And EU, UK & ME Industries. Chart 8

But, US data may color the prior charts.

So let us focus specifically on the EU, UK and ME cohort for a moment. We will examine the number of female executives who are there divided by industry (Chart 8). And also by location (Chart 9). Here we offer only the top 25 in each case. However, we find the top five industries change. They now include Retail, Management Consulting and Information Technology. This is quite a change from the overall data on Chart 4. Note that we do not have specific growth rates for the female executive populations. But can only offer industry growth rates. This bodes well though for women executives in the faster-growing industries. These are namely Financial Services (+3.2%) and Civic & Social Organization (+2.8%). And also Professional Training & Coaching (+2.8%) and Internet businesses (+2.7%).

Chart 9 simply underlines the incredible importance of London and Paris in this cohort. Showing the importance particularly for female executives.

And EU, UK & ME Locations. Chart 9.

Peter Irish, CEO The Barrett Group 
Click Here To Download A Printable Version: Industry Update – Female Executives

Editor Note:

In this particular Industry Update “executives” will generally refer to specific titles. These include the Vice President, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. And Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer. And also, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Information Officer, Managing Partner, and President titles. Unless otherwise noted, the data in this Update will largely come from LinkedIn. The data represents a snapshot of the market as it was at the time of the research.

Is LinkedIn truly representative? Here’s a little data: LinkedIn has approximately 722 million users. 174 million in the US. And 163 million in Europe. (See Source.) LinkedIn is by far the largest and most robust business database in the world. And it is now in its 18th year. LinkedIn defines the year-over-year change (YOY Change). YOY Change is the change in the number of professionals divided by the count as of last year. “Attrition” is defined as the departures in the last 12 months divided by the average headcount over the last year.

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