Ginny Clarke

Former Director, Executive Recruiting at Google and Holistic Leadership Strategist
  • Led Google executive recruiting team, and built the Internal Mobility Program for their senior leaders, and their Diversity Program to support inclusive executive hiring
  • Former Partner at global executive search firm, Spencer Stuart, where she co-founded and led their Global Diversity Practice
  • Executive roles in financial services and commercial real estate organizations
  • Delivers insightful speeches on talent and leadership, hiring and retention, diversity, the “War for Talent,” career management and internal mobility and individual and organizational resilience
  • Author of Career Mapping: Charting Your Course in the New World of Work (2011), a career framework for all workers and their organizations

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Dedicated to helping leaders create the conscious workplace for tomorrow, Ginny Clarke has advised at the highest levels of corporate America for decades. A proven expert in driving diverse leadership, she is the former director of executive recruiting at Google, where she led the company’s diversity, non-tech recruiting, and leadership internal mobility teams – finding and hiring senior leaders across the company. She also built a scaled internal mobility program for Google’s senior leaders to advance within the organization, and designed much of the infrastructure that supports their executive recruiting function today.

In speeches, Clarke draws on her unparalleled experience inside corporate C-Suites and boardrooms helping thousands of executives up their game and elevate their careers to bring a unique, holistic approach to leadership that is essential now more than ever. Her Five Dimensions of Conscious Leadership encourage leaders to deepen their self-awareness, speak their truth, inspire love, expand their consciousness, and activate mastery. A systems thinker who deconstructs processes and behaviors to carefully assess organizational and individual capability, she inspires and uplifts groups by helping them scale mobility opportunities for all, bring conscious awareness to both the workplace and life, and navigate the future of work. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Clarke delivers “no-holds-barred” discussions on the root causes that lead to a lack of diversity in organizations, and provides the thoughtful, integrated solutions that anyone can use to affect change as we transition into a new era in the workplace.

Prior to Google, Clarke was a partner at Spencer Stuart, the global executive search firm based in Chicago. For 12 years, she worked in the firm’s financial services and financial officer practices, and co-founded and led their global diversity practice. Drawing upon her breadth and depth of experience, Clarke wrote the book titled Career Mapping: Charting Your Course in the New World of Work, providing a framework that empowers individuals to plot and assess their professional competencies and strategically navigate their careers. After the book was published, she ran her own executive search and talent management firm for three years before becoming a senior partner for executive search in the U.S. at Knightsbridge, a Canadian human capital solutions firm.

Clarke started her career in banking at First National Bank of Chicago (now Chase). After a short stint, she spent a number of years in the real estate investment management business with Jones Lang LaSalle and Prudential Real Estate Investors, where she was responsible for asset management, portfolio management, capital raising, and client servicing.

She is now the CEO of Ginny Clarke, LLC, her own talent and leadership consulting business, as well as the host of Fifth Dimensional Leadership, a podcast for leaders, thinkers, and future-makers covering topics like power, personal branding, self-awareness, networking, fear, and career management. Clarke previously served as an entrepreneur in residence for HearstLab, advising the organization’s leaders on the future of work and how to approach areas such as culture, hiring, and performance evaluation as the way we work continues to evolve.

Clarke earned her BA in French and Linguistics from the University of California at Davis, and her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. She is the single mother of an adult son, Julian, who works in the entertainment industry.

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Ginny Clarke: Leading Workplace Transformation

Ginny Clarke: How to Optimize Talent Recruitment

Ginny Clarke: The Blueprint for Successful Executive Recruiting

Ginny Clarke: The Great Resignation and the War for Talent

Talent, Technology and Humanity: Building New Leadership Capability. We are in the midst of unprecedented change and unpredictability and many leaders are feeling challenged, anxious, and ill-equipped to deal with this change. With the anticipated widespread use of AI and other technology, new questions about leadership have emerged:

  • What skills and attributes do leaders need?
  • What is innate and what can be learned?”

Believing that AI can never replace human interaction, collaboration, companionship, and touch, Ginny Clarke looks at the intersection of technology, workers, and our humanity to outline how accountability measures, competency-based talent assessment, and tapping into the human capacity for self-awareness, empathy, and compassion can help leaders integrate AI and other emerging technologies in ways that engage their workforce and enhance organizational effectiveness.

Navigating Uncertainty Begins with Conscious Leadership Today. As we navigate uncharted waters, leaders are being called to do more and be more. The onus is on them to position their organizations and their people for success in the workplace during such a transformative period and beyond. Bringing a holistic perspective from inside some of the world’s leading organizations, Ginny Clarke shares her sought-after insights and wisdom on the ways conscious, effective leaders can get the best out of their people and, in turn, create high-performing teams for the future. In this talk, she outlines the importance of beginning with organizational health when guiding your workforce into the future — paying special attention to how to assess, attract, and hire the best talent, and establish a culture rooted in accountability, trust, integrity, and inclusion. Ginny goes beyond ideas and instead offers leaders practical tactics and processes for optimizing talent, resources, productivity, and profitability to create a disruption-proof workplace that is equipped for the long run.

The Great Workplace Transformation: Are You Ready? The rise in gig workers, remote team members, and interim management and leadership has led to a dramatic transformation in the workplace — a transformation for which organizations must prepare their leaders. Ginny Clarke takes a look at some of these new work models and explores the need for leaders to be able to effectively manage and lead highly diverse and geographically dispersed teams. Meanwhile, the leaders themselves could be new, even temporary, to the organization given the upswing in interim management. The uniqueness of these circumstances, and possible short-term strategy changes, means managers and leaders with the requisite skills are called in to bridge staffing or skill gaps. This transformed workforce and workplace will likely have to reflect workers’ expectations for their employers to prioritize purpose and well-being. Such a commitment will surely drive company growth, employee satisfaction, and a healthy culture.

Defining Your Culture Through Leadership. Through her extensive work with leadership assessment and hiring, Ginny has experienced and witnessed the impact — both positive and negative — that leaders’ behaviors can have on an organization’s culture. Concluding that organizational culture is largely an amalgam of the behaviors of senior leaders, she shines a light on some critical leadership responsibilities, such as managing conflict; decision-making; dealing with ambiguity, that when handled poorly, have unintended consequences. These consequences include diminished leadership credibility, low employee morale, weakened financial performance, and a toxic workplace and culture. In this talk, she offers personal stories, case studies, and valuable wisdom for getting a successful start and remediating troubled situations. 

You Don’t Have a Diversity Problem, You Have a Leadership Problem. Ginny Clarke brings her unique perspective on leadership having recently led diversity, internal mobility, and non-tech recruiting for Google’s executive recruiting function — as well as having co-founded the Diversity Practice for global search firm, Spencer Stuart. She has been in corporate boardrooms and C-suites assessing and advising leaders for nearly 25 years and has a deep understanding of how to fairly assess all talent and build that capability in your organization. She takes the provocative view that leaders can be the ailment or the remedy for Corporate America’s “Diversity Problem” and suggests that we are not getting to root causes and that amounts to “Organizational Malpractice,” which can leave the organization weaker than before the treatment started. In this “no-holds-barred” talk, she offers solutions to the root causes that have led to a lack of diversity in our organizations. 

Claiming Your Success: Leading From Where You Are. Operating inside of, and with, highly competitive and complex organizations, Ginny Clarke had to develop her own principles to be and remain a strong and effective leader, while maintaining her physical, mental, and emotional health. She shares her mindset of “Free Agency” — the idea that you own your career, as well as her commitment to personal mastery, and her approach to getting what she needed from her employers — all in the name of moving the organization forward and being a healthy, happy and successful leader — on her terms. Her insights can be adapted and applied by anyone who is determined to lead as their most authentic self.

WORKSHOP: Career Mapping. This new generation is NOT motivated as much by MONEY, but by the culture and the career path offered in the organization. Mapping one’s career is something that employers sometimes do with, and for, their employees to support their advancement in the organization. This process is often reserved for the most senior and those considered “high potential.” Meanwhile the average worker would be well-served to understand how to effectively navigate their career and optimize their satisfaction and professional growth with their employer.

As a former executive recruiter at Google and global search firm Spencer Stuart, Ginny Clarke has created a framework designed for workers at all levels and stages of their career. She even wrote a book about it called, Career Mapping: Charting Your Course in the New World of Work. She also used this framework at Google to create an Internal Mobility program for their most senior executives. At the core of her approach are competencies — the essential elements of how one does something. These competencies allow people to move across functions and roles inside of their organizations, or across sectors and industries when looking for new opportunities. 

In this Career Mapping workshop, Clarke shares time-tested resources and strategies for how anyone can purposefully chart the path of their career while taking into account their own competencies and putting themselves on the trajectory they envision for their careers. This framework can help employers retain their talent by giving them the one thing they want most, development and career advancement opportunities. 

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Ginny Clarke's Book Career Mapping

Career Mapping: Charting Your Course in the New World of Work