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You're committed to advancing diversity in leadership.
We're here to help.

You're committed to advancing diversity in leadership. We're here to help. 

JOYOUS is an inclusive executive search & leadership development firm.

We combine best-of-class executive search and DEI expertise with AI and analytics
to help you recruit, retain and develop the leaders you need to drive inclusion and innovation.

Meet our CEO

Joy Chen

Joy Chen is the renowned executive recruiter and speaker the Wall Street Journal  named a "Lean-In Guru" and the Los Angeles Times refers to simply as "The Networker." As Founder & CEO of JOYOUS, she helps companies recruit and develop the leaders they need to drive inclusion and innovation.

Before forming JOYOUS, Joy was a principal at global executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, leading board and executive search and onboarding projects for Fortune 500 companies across North America, Europe and Asia. 

Joy previously served as a Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles, where she led economic and workforce development for America's 2nd largest city. In this capacity, she led initiatives which have advanced access to new skills and jobs for millions of Californians.

Joy holds a Diversity & Inclusion certification from Cornell University and an MBA from UCLA.


Joy Chen 陈愉 CEO JOYOUS executive search recruiter Deputy Mayor Los Angeles
Joy Chen with Maggie and Xuxu

All our work is powered by the fact that we're diverse leaders ourselves

Today's diverse leaders are trailblazers, armed with the talent and drive to create a better world. We can relate. Because we're diverse leaders ourselves. 

When you work with us, you gain access to the deep and longstanding networks of trust that for decades, we've been building across diverse communities.

As an independent firm, we're unencumbered by shareholder pressures, exclusionary practices or overlapping off-limits agreements.  We fully dedicate ourselves to providing exceptional service to each client.

Our independence goes hand-in-hand with our entrepreneurial culture, which values innovation and speed in pursuit of our purpose.  

Our purpose is to create a world of new opportunities for our clients, our candidates and our communities. 

Our executive search is fueled by innovation and inclusion

Traditional executive search offers us powerful tools, yet also is built atop legacy candidate databases and other exclusionary elements that resulted in the lack of diversity atop many companies today.

That means that if we are to advance diversity in leadership, what got us here won’t get us there. At JOYOUS, we’ve taken the best of executive search practices and added new innovations to enable you to access today's diverse talent.

Each time we open a new search, we use artificial intelligence to organize big data from across the web to create a constantly-updating custom database with deep information on each candidate. This AI fuels our ability to candidate evaluation and off-list reference checks, as well as our ability to create a tailored pitch for each candidate in order to ensure the start of a dialogue. 

Recognizing that for many diverse leaders, our search may be their only touchpoint with your company, we carefully design the candidate experience so that, whether or not they are ultimately chosen, each candidate feels fully seen and valued.

From candidate sourcing, through interviews, evaluations, reference-checking and offer negotiation and close-out, we thoughtfully guide you to making the very best talent decisions to secure your future.

We lead searches for Board members, executives, senior managers and specialized individual contributors.

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Diverse leaders around table

We use analytics to help you retain and advance diverse talent

Amidst the current talent wars, research shows that 40% of employees say they are at least somewhat likely to quit in the next 3-6 months, and that while employers believe the #1 reason is compensation, in fact the top 3 reasons employees cite for quitting are all relational: they don't feel a sense of belonging. Non-white employees are even more likely than white employees to say they had left because of a lack of inclusion. 

Before leaving physically, employees check out mentally. Turnover and presenteeism represent massive costs for companies – and massive opportunities for smart employers to gain advantage in the marketplace. 

We use qualitative and quantitative analytics to target areas of low engagement, pinpoint the reasons, and help you design high-ROI strategies to increase employee happiness, engagement, retention and advancement.

We accelerate your diverse leaders through training and coaching

Research shows that following a transition, over 50% of leaders are regarded as failures 18 months later. This results in massive direct and indirect costs to organizations and to the leaders themselves.  Most failures result not from lack of skills, but from lack of cultural integration in what's referred to as “organ rejection.” With diverse leaders, the risk of organ rejection is higher still – as are the benefits of a rapid and successful integration. 

Our executive coaching allows you to mitigate the risks and accelerate your diverse leaders. We coach them to avoid the pitfalls, learn the organizational dynamics, navigate internal networks, build key alliances, gain quick wins, and shape strategy to quickly build momentum to success.

This way, you achieve both “culture fit” and “culture add.” Your culture expands toward one of greater inclusion -- and thus, acceleration -- for all your employees.

Diverse leaders smiling left

Our clients

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Advancing Diversity in Leadership

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