Shape is a place where people from diverse backgrounds can come together to gain insights, develop skills, explore fresh perspectives and have greater access to leadership opportunities.

Help us Shape a better, more inclusive society

We believe that to shape a better society, we need more representative and inclusive leadership. Through Shape, we aim to accelerate this process by raising visibility and access to existing and incredible diverse leadership talent and by providing tools and resources to support those on their development journey.

The shape of the challenge

Though progress has been made to achieve better representation across public service, gaps still exist at the most senior levels.


of the Senior Civil Service and NHS senior leaders are ethnically diverse, compared with 14% of the economically active population


of the Senior Civil Service leaders declare a disability compared with 16% of the economically active population


There remains a gender pay gap of 8.3% across the UK
(Source: ONS)

Access to the largest job pool and sector insight

GatenbySanderson is the UK’s largest provider of public service executive talent; we appoint to over 800 permanent and interim executive roles each year. We touch every corner of the UK, every valued institution delivering public services and every community that deserves better. Help us shape a better society. When you register with Shape, you can be alerted to the latest available roles, or simply stay informed of leadership movements across the public service market.

Why join Shape?

You may already be a senior leader in your sector, and we aim to support your continued career pathway, or you may be interested in moving into public services and we will help you transition and navigate the political, environmental and social landscape.

If you are an aspiring senior leader, we can help you understand the competencies and experience required, steer you through the often challenging recruitment process and offer development resources to build your confidence and present your skillsets effectively.

Our sector expertise

Each and every year we place numerous candidates across multiple sectors. These are the number of placements over the last 12 months.








Not for 

& Standards

The benefits of Shape

Once your registration is confirmed with Shape, you will have your own dedicated account where you can tailor content so that you only receive information in the sectors that are of interest to you.*

Sample Shape content

Sarah Luxford on why she moved into public sector executive search

Join Shape

Shape is a platform for individuals from marginalised backgrounds to converge, garner insights, foster skills, and gain broader access to leadership opportunities. We will ask you to provide details of your skills and experiences, and confirm that you fall within a diverse group, which includes women, ethnic minorities, those with disabilities, members of the LGBT+ community, or those with a particular lived experience.

Shape is a community who will build a better society

*Content and resources are designed for those already evidencing senior leadership skills, looking to progress to the most senior roles. We will tell you if we assess your skillsets or experience to be not yet at this level.