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’s executive recruiting team, and built the Internal Mobility Program for their senior leaders, and their Diversity Program to support inclusive executive hiring
  • HearstLab Entrepreneur in Residence where she is sharing her talent and leadership expertise with founders of women-owned businesses, and supporting HearstLab executives with their investment pipeline.
  • Delivers insightful, provocative speeches on the Future of Work as seen through the lens of talent, leadership, diversity, culture

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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, 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 also serves an entrepreneur in residence for HearstLab, which provides cash investment and services to early-stage, women-led startups and aims to close the gap in venture capital funding for women. In this role, she advises 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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Speaker Video

Ginny Clarke - Speaking Reel - 2021

Executive Interview: Google - Diversity in Leadership

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, as well as how to 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.” She suggests that some leaders 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.

The Future of Work Begins with Conscious Leadership Today. Whisperings about the future of work have developed into full-fledged conversations. Still, we haven’t yet arrived at a consensus on what exactly the future of work entails and how leaders can position their organizations and their people for success during such a transformative period in the workplace and beyond. Bringing a holistic perspective from inside some of the world’s leading organizations, Ginny 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.

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 how can leaders 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 decisions based on the ever-changing needs of the organization and in the global workforce.

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. In this talk, she 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 at some of the country’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 is a good foundation, Ginny takes us beyond this popular reference by showing how to access deeper levels of awareness, communication, and skill mastery to help even the strongest leaders continue to develop and adapt to the ever-evolving demands of the workplace.

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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Ginny Clarke's Book Career Mapping

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