Ginny Clarke

Former Director, Executive Recruiting at Google and Holistic Leadership Strategist

  • Former Partner at global executive search firm, Spencer Stuart, where she co-founded and led their Global Diversity Practice
  • Led Google executive recruiting team, and built the Internal Mobility Program for their senior leaders, and their Diversity Program to support inclusive executive hiring
  • Delivers insightful speeches on talent and leadership, diversity, executive assessment and hiring, 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 five-dimensional approach to true leadership that is essential now more than ever. 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, and bring conscious awareness to both the workplace and life. 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.

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 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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Speaker Video

Ginny Clarke - Speaking Reel - 2021

Executive Interview: Google - Diversity in Leadership - The Phocuswright Conference Online 2020

Success Tips: How to Ace the Interview - Raising Your Hand For Opportunities

You Don’t Have a Diversity Problem, You Have A Leadership Problem. Ginny 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 quacks are out there trying to fix it in ways that amount to “Organizational Malpractice” which can leave the organization weaker than when the treatment started. In this “no-holds-barred” talk, she offers solutions to root causes that have led to a lack of diversity in our organizations. 

Identifying “Best Talent” in the New Age of Work. Our organizations and their leaders are in a state of transition and transformation whether they want to admit it or not. People, not technology, will determine how these changes unfold. Companies with the “best talent” will have a competitive advantage, but few know how to spot “best talent” and assess it properly. Through her expertise as an executive recruiter and builder of talent processes at Google and two global search firms, Ginny pulls the curtain back on what “best talent” looks like, not just when hiring, but throughout the employee lifecycle. She explains the “pedigree myth” and shares how to make better people decisions based on the ever-changing needs of the organization.

Defining 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, and dealing with ambiguity. When handled poorly these functions have unintended consequences, such as diminished leadership credibility, low employee morale, weakened financial performance, and a toxic workplace and culture. Luckily, Ginny offers personal stories and case studies for getting a successful start and remediating troubled situations. 

Seeing in the Dark: Extracting Leadership Lessons from Painful Times. Within a two-year span, Ginny Clarke’s life caved in around her. In this talk, she reveals the three most painful situations she experienced while becoming an accomplished executive in some of the county’s most prestigious corporations. Importantly, she shares the powerful lessons she learned from each, including how she was able to “see in the dark” and step into her greatness. This inspiring talk acknowledges that we all face challenges, but the most successful leaders learn from adversity, with humility, courage, and resilience.

Beyond Authenticity: Holistic Leadership. In this engaging keynote, Ginny details a holistic approach to true leadership that transcends “being authentic.” She starts with three of the five dimensions of leadership that she developed after standing up Google’s Internal Mobility Program for senior leaders, and as a beloved leader herself. While authentic leadership provides a solid foundation, Ginny takes us beyond this popular reference by describing how to access deeper levels of awareness, communication, and skill mastery to help even strong leaders continue to grow and adapt to ever-changing demands. 


Claiming Your Success: Leading from Where You Are. Operating inside of and with highly competitive and complex organizations, Ginny 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, 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.

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booksLatest Books

Ginny Clarke's Book Career Mapping

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