White man with grey hair in an expensive suit.
This is how most people would think of the typical consultant. But is this really accurate?
Are women in consulting neglected?
Studies which compare men and women with the same background, qualifications, age, experience and time devoted to work state that women’s success rates in progressing to the highest management levels are lower than those of their male counterparts.
“My firm is heavily dominated by men at all levels. They out-number women by around 8-1.” (Forum.top-consultant.com, 2006)
In a sample with 81 U.S. consulting firms, it was found that female professionals accounted for 39% of the total workforce, female partners only accounted for 17% of total partners.
Although consulting firms recognize the need of a balanced gender distribution, the working environment clearly remains male dominant. The good news is that the percentage of women at top consulting firms is continuously increasing. But unfortunately, it is a very, very slow process.
“It would take more than 40 years to arrive at gender balanced boards.” (European Commission/Directorate-General for Justice, 2012)
“We know that moving the needle on this issue is not easy – and that despite the commitment of many organizations, progress has been slow. In this report, we highlight the many barrier to women’s advancement that will have to be addressed to achieve more gender-equal businesses and societies. We do so with a dose of humility, as we are on our own journey toward increasing representation of women at McKinsey and have more work to do ourselves to achieve our own goals of a gender balanced workforce.” (Barton, 2017)
A study conducted by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey show that America has made almost no progress improving women’s representation in the last three years. They have drawn a data from 222 companies employing more than 12 million people.
Women are underrepresented at every level. Women of color are even the most underrepresented group of all.
Some numbers to get started
About 42% of working women in the United States report, that they have faced discrimination on their job because of their gender. It goes from personal experiences, different salaries to being passed over important assignments. By contrast with men, who made only 22%, twice as likely. (Pew Research Center survey data, 2017)
The proportion of graduates entering the consulting industry shows roughly a balanced number between the genders. That means, almost as many women are entering the profession as men.
In Europe, statistics show a rate of 55% for female university graduates.
In the U.S. every four in 10 is a female graduate.
And in higher education degrees they earn more than 50%!
But why is it, that women in consulting are not staying for long enough to ensure significant representation at senior levels?
Consultant’s report that the higher you go in a firm, the fewer women you will find.
There are only reported to be one in ten female leaders.
In Europe only 14% of corporate board seats are taken by female consultants in the largest publicly listed companies. (Eurostat, 2011, 2012)
In the U.S. 60% of surveyed firms have no women on their board. Half of these had no executives in the c-suite and one in three businesses had neither.
Accenture, global management consulting – revealing U.S. workforce 2015
The global consulting industry is estimated to be worth $155 billion. One of the firms in the Top 10 is Accenture, which was founded in 1989.
Accenture is No. 98 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. They are the first company to reveal gender statistics of their U.S. workforce. Their data only confirm the upper statements.
Percentage of Female Employees:
Percentage of Female Executives:
These stats show that women lose ground on the upper levels.
Do women leave consultancy because they are smarter than men?
But what if women are not being neglected? What if women are simply smarter than men? It is not a secret that the job of a consultant is really tiring, stressful and is very time-consuming. Consultants mostly live out of a suit case due to all the travelling. And travel time does not count as work time (even though some European countries’ regulations say otherwise). On top of loads of overtime there might be a flight to another coast or country and a long drive in a rental to the client site. Burnout is common for consultants. Some senior exess joke at staff meetings that they are proud that their kids know their name.
Maybe women just prefer to enjoy their personal lives more. Is the lack of female consultants due to their smartness?
Same rates in leaving intentions
Apparently, women in consulting don’t last, because they are not willing to invest so much time in their work.
But studies show that women are resigning at higher rates than their male colleagues. Women and men have similar numbers of intentions to quit their job. Just as many men as women want to resign their job to focus on family, which is roughly 2%.
A female senior partner notes that “the key thing for me that makes it work is that I like the job so much. I am energized by my job, so I don’t leave feeling drained.” (Brain & Company, 2011)
However, a survey from Aon in 2017 found, that at the beginning of their career, 72% of women said they wanted to stay in the company. While it was only 67% of the male colleagues with the same tenure.
But the longer the employees were at the company (now speaking of two to five years), only 58% of the women said they’d stay, compared to 63% of their male colleagues.
Same and different intentions
Dow Scott, a professor of human resources and employment relations at Loyola University, Chicago, says that the difference between women in consulting and men are not demographic. It is caused by the individual difference. “A man and a woman that both are single and living by themselves will probably want about the same thing, but if it’s a man and a woman that are both married, they’ll want something different.”
In other words, women change their priorities and focus in life. That can cause that women ‘give up’ on their career and put their focus on their private life.
That may be the reason why the numbers of full-time permanent female consultants are so low: 25% at the Boston Consulting Group, 20% at Bain and about 16% at McKinsey, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).
“It doesn’t come without sacrifices, small and large. The question really becomes, what sacrifices are you willing to make?” (Consulting Interview Coach, 2012-2018)
Reasons for the lack of women in consultancy
The general reasons for gender imbalance in top management positions have been discussed widely.
Frequently analyzed phenomena are:
The glass ceiling effect
Invisible obstacles for women to ascent to higher hierarchical level, based on traditional and cultural stereotypes (Morrison & von Glienow, 1990).
A female consultant reports, that at a partner conference she was assumed to be a secretary, because almost all the partners were men.
“However, I’ve seen that most businesses today recognize that diversity of thought is critical for sound decision-making. Diversity of thought only comes when you embrace diversity of background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, and so on. On the surface, I believe most businesses recognize the second piece as well. Underneath the surface, there are an ice burg of unconscious biases that lead to the imperfect world we live in. Gender equity is a work-in-progress.” (Consulting Interview Coach, 2012-2018)
Many men assume women are good with people and strong in soft skills as in designing surveys and doing analyst calls. That’s why they are mostly assigned to ‘softer’ work.
That is probably why many women in consultancy feel the pressure to adopt masculine characteristics. On a report, more than half of the interviewees agreed with the statement, that they were adopting masculine characteristics, gradually and almost unconsciously.
“In your first three months, actively raise your hand for heavy analytics roles. Show that you have the chops to handle the gnarly numbers as well as the softer client-facing role. You will gain respect right away and avoid being pigeonholed due to assumptions people may not even realize they hold.” (Consulting Interview Coach, 2012-2018)
A managing consultant told that she once walked into a boardroom and the CEO asked her to go make copies of the presentation SHE was about to give. She was the only woman in the room, so he assumed she was the secretary. She then calmly introduced herself and her role and then asked one of the junior members of the team to make the copies. (Bain & Company, 2011)
The biggest gender gap is in the area of salary. One in four women say they have earned less than a man colleague who was doing the same job. (Pew Research Center survey data, 2017)
An International Labour Organisation (ILO) study of 83 countries found that women earn 10%-30% less than men. In the U.S., women working full-time only earned 77% of the male wage. (The Guardian, 2010)
A female consultant claims, that she is unsure whether her paycheck is the same as her male colleagues who are in similar positions. And if not, how would she even be able to broach the topic with her male supervisor and manager.
Out of an examination in the UK following data has been found:
The large gap between the salaries is explained by the fact that a higher number of men tend to work in better consulting companies, thereby earning more from the beginning.
The number of women in those top consulting institutions remains low. Apparently, women do not aim for the top consulting companies.
Women are 18% less likely to be promoted than their male colleagues. This finding represents the first step, up to the manager level.
Unfortunately, are women less optimistic and self-confident about their own competences. They also tend less likely to see themselves to be a top executive. They are three times more likely than men to think their gender will make it harder to get promoted.
Even though women earn more bachelor’s degrees than men, they are disadvantaged by companies from the beginning. They are simply less likely to be hired. They are also less likely to be promoted into higher positions.
At McKinsey, 62% of manager positions are held by men, while women hold only 38%.
Statistics show that there is a 30% higher rate of promoted men than women during their early career stages.
The double burden syndrome
The double burden is a term used to describe the situation of women who have a profession outside as well as homemaking and child-care work at home. Women’s simultaneous responsibility for their professional careers and household tasks often lead to part-time employment.
“A career, a husband, or children. You can have two out of three, but not all three,” reports a former female Consultant on Quora.
The lack of female role models and a deficient supporting lobby
How can a male dominated management committee make a company attractive to a woman? What does a male consultant know about the needs of a woman? In order to make a company truly attractive to a female consultant, you need a female consulting partner on the managing committee.
Female employees need to see female consultants in higher positions to be able to compare themselves to them.
Imagine applying to a consulting company which only has male employees.
Firms today struggle with retaining women at senior levels. This causes that young female practitioners have difficulties to find female role models to guide them in their journey. It makes it difficult for young women in consulting to see themselves in ten or twenty years. Many young women have questions like whether they will be able to raise a family and to be productive at work.
93% of interviewed women in consulting said that having more role models in senior positions would help them relate to keep them in consulting. Seeing is believing. Looking up and seeing successful senior women sends a powerful signal.
“There are now many more models of how people can be effective and influential without having someone who is talking all the time or is super central within discussions.” (consultancy.uk, 2015).
The ‘Only One’
One in five women say they are often the only woman at work.
By being a minority, they automatically stand out in a crowd. They are heightened visibility makes them become an example for all women, with everyone’s eyes on them. This leads to a higher feeling of pressure to perform. It is difficult to shake the feeling of always being under a microscope.
One woman says that she feels being under pressure to make a good impression. She feels that if she messes up, her coworkers will project her failure onto female employees as a whole. She thinks her performance is highlighted since she stands out. This can also cause stress, which can also have bad influence on the work performance and affect the overall atmosphere at the workplace.
Women attract other women
It should not be a surprise, that the more women at the top means more women lower down. Women attract other women, as it seems.
Out of a research from Source Information Services in collaboration with nbi, a human capital consulting firm, one female partner tells about her experience. In her early career she had to choose between a relationship and her job. One day, she found herself working for a female partner, alongside other women. Those women had the same daily struggles with their job and personal lives. She tells how the partner created a uniquely supportive environment in which the female employees helped each other. There were no feelings of guilt for family caused issues. “If a senior woman is working part time, actually that is something that is desperately relevant for making women feel supported. Flexi-working is desperately relevant for women, …” (Consultancy.uk, 2015)
Women who feel part of a supportive team, a team which recognizes the struggles, are less likely to leave.
The lack of personal ambitions of women to pursue top management careers
Constructions of identity are explaining gender imbalances in top management positions (Roseblum, 2008), especially in leadership positions (Rubineau, 2008). This is mainly due to the inability of women to balance personal and professional responsibilities which in turn leads to role conflicts (Hill, Leinbaugh, Bradley, & Hazier, 2005).
How does the language of women in consulting have impact?
The way women speak and interact is different and impact the way they are perceived. Women’s more polite, diplomatic, gentle, and indirect language is often misperceived in a corporate setting as portraying less authority, less confidence, and less ability.
On the other side – if women speak as confident as men, they are quickly perceived as “bossy” or “bitchy”. Women have a very narrow frame they can communicate in to be perceived as competent.
“Women often use hedges, disclaimers, and tag questions in their speech to involve the other person and maintain the all-important relationship in female culture. When men hear this, they incorrectly assume a woman either does not know what she is talking about, or that she is insecure about her ideas,” (Dr.Pat Heim, author of ‘Invisible Rules: Men, Women and Teams’).
The COO of a private equity firm who felt that her petite frame and soft voice undermined her authority as a leader said that she used her sense of humor to assert herself as “one of the guys”. (Bain & Company, 2011)
Smart way to compensate it, isn’t it?
Health issues of women
Overall rates of psychological diseases are almost identical for men and women. But striking gender differences are found in the patterns of mental illness. Gender seems to be a critical determinant. These gender differences occur particularly in the rates of common mental disorders as in depression, anxiety and somatic complaints. One out of three people in the community are affected. Women clearly predominate (World Health Organization).
According to Pam Jeffords, a partner at the human resources consulting firm, firms tend to evaluate their health care by the workforce. The less sick notes, the less costs for firms. Logic. With the knowledge, that women are more “breakable” than men, consulting firms automatically tend to hire more resilient employees (“men”).
But statistics show that it is the exact opposite. Men are more burdened by illness during life. They fall ill at a younger age and have more chronic illnesses. Although women see doctors more often than men, men cost our society much more for medical care (Harvard University).
Women in consulting discriminating themselves
It is weird how female consultants complain about their male colleagues making inappropriate jokes or using vulgar words. They discriminate themselves by demanding to be handled different. They should not wonder when they are treated differently or are being isolated.
Women should understand that they must be tougher.
“You have to adapt to your environment and the culture around you. You can’t expect it to adapt to you, and you can’t expect to be accepted if you constantly identify yourself as an outsider.” (Bain & Company, 2011)
A former consulting firm office head remembers “the senior directors used to take all the guys on a ski and golf outings. I wasn’t invited or even told about the trip because they assumed I wasn’t interested.”
Situations like these may be caused because women minimize the importance of networking. Networking should be a high priority and concrete steps to invest in building these relationships should be taken. Women need a network that is representative of the management team, while in reality, they tend to gravitate toward other women.
To avoid this, senior director of a consulting firm notes that she deliberately makes time for networking. When she travels to other offices, she schedules breakfast or drinks with colleagues that she doesn’t interact with on a daily base in order to build relationships across the company. (Bain & Company, 2011)
After asking a female consultant what she would have done different in her career, her simple answer was “I’d ask more questions when things seemed confusing to me, rather than assuming everyone else had some inside knowledge that I didn’t have. When I was working as an economist in the 1990s, I had a lot of unspoken questions that got ‘answered’ 20 years later in our recent wave of financial crises. It turns out that the things that seemed odd to me, like excluding the banking system from forecast models, really were odd. I know now that when you feel like asking ‘why?’ you’re probably not the only one who wants to know the answer.”
Negative experiences and other challenges for women in consulting
Negative experiences, such as microaggressions (sexism and racism), add up as well. They can have a major impact when they are repeated over time and may lead to thinking about leaving the job.
One female consultant reports “I’m applauded when I play devil’s advocate to conventional ways of thinking. That said, I’m white, straight- and (relatively) able-bodied. Women of color, varying sexual orientations, and different abilities may have different experiences when voicing their opinions. I cannot speak to that.” (Consulting Interview Coach, 2012-2018)
35% of female employees in the US claim to experience sexual harassment in their career.
For some women the experiences are more common. 55% of women in senior leadership, 48% of lesbian women, and 45% of women in technical fields report that they have been sexually harassed, whether it was sexist jokes to being touched in a sexual way.
In an ABC News/Washington Post survey, 2017, 54% of women reported that they have received unwanted sexual advances from a man, from which 30% happened at work.
Findings show that women who do not conform to ‘traditional’ feminine expectations are more often the targets of sexual harassment.
In addition to that, women are far less confident that reporting sexual harassment will lead to a fair investigation. Even though 98% of companies have policies that make it clear that sexual harassment is not tolerated.
One woman tells “started out very harmless, chatting on the phone, he told me he was going through a separation and at the time I thought he really needed a sounding board, a compassionate ear, so I listened, I encouraged, I was his “savior” what would he do without me??? Then after a month of calls, he started making inappropriate statements, he quickly escalated once I confronted him and told him to stop! (That’s number 1, always verbalize your discomfort) when he didn’t stop he then reminded me that how many times we talked on the phone at all hours of the day (company owned cell phones) and that if I didn’t go along with his discussing advances (specific scenarios right down to the clothing he wanted me to wear) he would fire me. And if I said anything to anyone he would show over a months’ worth of phone records indicating that I was talking to him (evenings and late nights at times) . I felt so stupid! How could I not catch on?? But I am the one who has to look at myself in the mirror every day, so I went to HR and told my story, within 24 hours he was walked out of the building, and I was lucky enough to be standing right outside his office as they walked him past me! The following months were hard, rumors, court dates (he went for wrongful dismissal) but I knew that I had done the right thing. 4 other ladies came forward before the first meeting with the lawyers all having similar stories. If I didn’t say anything at the time, he might still be abusing women, manipulating, threatening etc.” (Quora, 2017)
Women of color
Women of color are most interested in going out and be self-employed. This is due to the challenges they face in the workplace. They are most likely of all to report they never have senior-level contact.
Women of color report they get less access to opportunities and see their workplace as less fair and inclusive.
Roughly 53% of employed black women said that they have experienced at least one type of gender discrimination at work, while it was fewer white and Hispanic women (40%). (Pew Research Center survey data, 2017)
Mansplaining and other microaggressions
In an interview, a female consultant reports “should I address that X consistently refers to the women on my team as “girls” but never to the men as “boys”? Should I question XX when he says that she “isn’t a good cultural fit” for our team when she opted-out of flip cup after work? … You might be thinking, it shouldn’t be our job to educate men and women who care less fluent on gender equity…However, doing so can pay dividends, especially if done with compassion and a benefit of the doubt as to whether the microaggression was intended to be hurtful. We are all imperfect feminists.” (Consulting Interview Coach, 2012-2018)
Many female consultants also felt that they needed to do more than their male peers to prove their competence. One woman remarked that, in her experience, men who make quantitative mistakes during interview are given the benefit of the doubt more often than women who make similar mistakes. The women stressed the need to continually build legitimacy and credibility with their coworkers to avoid these issues.
Women discriminating women in consulting
But not only men, also women treat male consultants significantly better than women in consulting, reports a consultant.
Now that’s something, isn’t it? As if it was not enough that women have been discriminated by men, it seems that women discriminate their own gender. It can be either because they think that the male colleagues are more “professional” in what they are doing, or it could simply be out of rivalry or jealous issues. However, this point should be embarrassing for every woman who has consciously, or unconsciously rated work my gender differences.
The consultant who named this issue also tells how a female client basically ignored her and made condescending and rude comments. She was the only female on the team and was already struggling with her team because she was not treated equal.
Further she tells on how a male colleague of hers openly excluded her, held meetings without inviting her and didn’t give her updates on information related to the project they worked on. But after standing up for herself and simply work better, she was able to get rid of that issue.
The bright side of the dark side
It shouldn’t be unsaid, that these prejudices, neglections and bad experiences do lead to one positive outcome: a boom for women-owned consulting firms.
A survey, published by Women in Consulting, found that the average for women-owned firms shows an increase of 45% since 2002.
Sounds good doesn’t it? That shows us, that women who really want to stay in their profession but are eventually neglected, stand up and build their own empire.
The other side of consulting for women
Different point of views
To relieve the women in consulting, not every woman is experiencing negative things in their job. There are many female consultants who report that they have never been discriminated or felt isolated.
A female consultant says “I have worked in teams where I was the only female, but I have never felt separated from my colleagues and I have never been treated differently because I was a girl. I have always received the same amount of attention for my manager and the same types of tasks as my peers. Therefore, from my personal point of view, working in a male-dominated team is not a problem for the consulting industry.”
“Your authority in the organization will not be questioned, but you need to have authority over your schedule…However, a key to success as a woman in consulting (especially one building on other hobbies or even a family outside of work) is to master your schedule as soon as you can. After moving to senior consultant (which can happen pretty quickly), take authority over your schedule, scheduling client meetings that are also conducive to your other priorities…,” claims a consulting mentor.
Lisa Bright (ex-McKinsey) and Jenny Rae Le Roux (ex-Brain) report that their experience as women in consulting has been very positive. They have been offered a lot of female-specific support by their companies and have had good male mentors. They have also successfully built a personal brand inside their firms (based on top performance and strong interpersonal relationships).
They even claim that, while it seems that there is more male representation at the partner level, there is equal opportunity in consulting for women to rise to partner. And perhaps more resources to take advantage of on their way there.
Also, according to Fairygodboss, an online website on which women share their opinions, two-thirds of women believe consultancy treats both sexes fairly.
Benefits for women in consulting
In an interview from Bain & Company, sixteen of nineteen women stated that “gender has had a significant positive impact on my career,” and nearly as many agreed that “being a woman positively influences my leadership style”. Women were advantaged in six of the ten leadership characteristics identified, including the ability to empower others and to be a listener.
The interviewed women also felt that some of their traditionally feminine traits are an advantage, especially in forming relationships with clients and colleagues. Women leaders cited following examples:
- Building relationships: “Women are generally calm and don’t possess a huge amount of ego upfront, which is helpful for building relationships with Main Street CEOs.”
- Investing in others: “Women are better at consensus building and care more about people and how they are feeling about their roles.”
- Reading people: “Women tend to be more empathetic and better listeners than their male counterparts, which makes them better at reading people.”
- Having a unique point of view
Even though women in consulting might be a minority, but they are definitely not in the consumer world. In fact, women make up to 80% of purchasing decisions. Being a woman, with a unique point of view is a big advantage. It helps connect with clients on a deeper level.
“As a consultant, I frequently look around the conference room and find that I’m the only woman sitting at the table. The reality is that women are still underrepresented in certain industries and echelons. However, being a woman in consulting allows you to provide unique insights to your clients and puts you on the fast-track to leadership.” (Consulting Interview Coach, 2012-2018)
- Making an impact
As a woman, just by showing up, doing your best work, and of course proving that women in consulting are equally capable valuable, and ambitious as men, you are paving the way for the rest. Being on the fast-track, a woman gets the opportunity to make business better for all women.
“It’s an exciting time to be a woman in business, especially as a consultant. If you can overcome the challenges of finding role models and dealing with microaggressions, I anticipate you will find ample opportunities to step up as a leader and make an impact on your clients.” (Consulting Interview Coach, 2012-2018)
And what do the clients want?
In a research it was found that nine out of ten clients would prefer more female employees in male dominated professions. Two third even said that, they would choose a consulting team with a greater proportion of women. Those teams seem to be capable of delivering better quality solutions due to the belief that women think laterally and consider the long-term. They are also said to be better in gaining trust, faster in building relationships and better coaches.
A consulting partner reveals “I often talk to my clients about their kids. Males generally shy away from those discussions, but I enjoy them, and it creates a personal bond with the clients.” (Bain & Company, 2011)
On an interview with an employer of a consulting he stated “Why women? Because women, especially mothers and women of color, bring to the table diverse perspectives and experiences. And because in certain areas of the country, where women vote more consistently to men, candidates need to effectively communicate and engage female voters in order to win. Having a woman on your consulting team brings a certain level of empathy and understanding that, frankly, men don’t have.”
As companies increase the number of women among board members and senior leaders, their profit margins increase as well (Peterson Institute for International Economics Study, 2016).
Companies where men and women are equally engaged report 20% higher profits on average than companies where women are less engaged (Gallup).
In response to these research findings, there has been a proliferation of gender diversity programs across all industries, including consulting.
Coaching and mentoring programs can be highly effective in raising women’s awareness of self-limitations and enable them to manage their careers in a male-centric environment. By motivating and supporting women it creates opportunities for broader professional exposure.
Top 10 Consulting Firms
Here is the list of the ‘giants’ in the field of consulting:
Accenture aims at increasing diversity at the workplace and plans to achieve complete gender balance by 2025. In 2016, 40% of the employees were women.
They want to achieve this goal by offering working flexibly, where the employees can set their start and finish times or work more hours over fewer days. They also offer part-time arrangements.
Furthermore, they offer a “Employee Resource Group” which supports the women and help them build networks. Women can share their experiences, insights and advice.
More about Accentures’ concept:
Bain & Company
Bain & Company “deeply ensure they are hiring the world’s most talented female business leaders and helping each one to thrive personally and professionally.”
They promise to not only support their women to be successful, but also ensure that every woman truly thrives in her career.
“Local Woman At Bain (WAB) support”
Bain has put a WAB partner and manager responsible for personalizing the global and regional initiatives to every individual woman in each office. These teams are supposed to develop local initiatives as in mentorship, experience sharing and professional development that are supposed to enable women in the office to thrive.
More about Bains’ concept:
Boston Consulting Group
Boston Consulting Group has been among Consulting Magazine’s “best firms to work for” since 2001 and has featured among Working Mother Magazine’s “Best companies for working mothers”.
BCG cosponsors Women in the World, which gathers many female professionals from different professions to share their stories of how they break through barriers in both business and society. They aim to offer global best-in-class career development, mentorship, and networking programs to help women excel – personally and professionaly. They offer regional [email protected] conferences and Working Mother Forum, to connect their successful female consultants with each other.
More about the programs:
Booz Allen Hamilton
According to the speakers of Booz Allen Hamilton, the working mom experience needs innovation, as in new modes of flexibility, services, and corporate norms. To draw women back to the workforce, Booz Allen in 2016 launched an internship called “Return-to-Work Program”.
This program is supposed to outline the steps to grow the pipeline of talented women who have left the workforce and are ready to return.
More about the program:
“We are all unique. Each one of us is different from anyone and everyone else. All those differences that make each of the individuals working at the Deloitte network unique represent many dimensions of diversity – and we are building a place where all of us can thrive”, that is what Deloitte promises.
They aim to support female professionals from start to finish with women’s programs in more than 50 countries.
They offer diverse programs as in:
-Deloitte women’s leadership launch
-Board-ready women program
-Inspiring women program
Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is ranked as one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” and also in the top 10 on Working Mother Magazine’s annual 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers list in the US.
Their number of women in top executive management positions has increased by more than 20% as they say is a result of their focused efforts.
They aim to provide education, mentoring, sponsorship and networking opportunities.
They offer three programs:
-Professional Women’s Network
-Inclusiveness Leadership Program
According to KPMG nearly 50% of their global workforce is made up of women. Increasing the number of female employees and leaders is central to their strategy. They aim to empower and elevate women in business by hosting the “KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit” in conjunction with the “KPMG Women’s PGA Championship”. The intention is to inspire the women in their careers and encourage their advancement to the C-suite.
They also offer the “KPMG Future Leaders Program” where they focus on developing future generations of women leaders through college scholarships, mentoring programs and a leadership development.
McKinsey & Company
McKinsey offers a women-focused program ‘to help maximize your strengths, develop your network, and grow as a leader’.
McKinsey claims to invest more than $20 million on the research of the importance of women in leadership positions. They offer support networks for women.
See more about the program:
On their website, Mercer claims to offer powerful key note speeches, private workshops and custom sessions to educate, engage and empower women in big firms. They call the innovation “When Women Thrive”. For their own company, no kind of women-engaging program is shown.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers beliefs that everyone has a personal accountability for success. They want to encourage flexibility of career paths, with the ability to step on and off the fast track, and multiple opportunities to connect with diverse role models.
Networking Circles, online career resources with videos, articles and other features as “Aspire to Lead” – their first-ever global forum on women and leadership and “Breakthrough Leadership”, a development program for top-performing women senior managers and directors.
More about their campaign:
To sum it up:
It might not be easy to be a female in a male dominated world. Women are not making it to the top of any profession of the world.
Of course, there are positive and negative reports of women and their work experiences. Especially in the world of consulting, every company differs, so does every project team and client. But the statistics and numbers show obvious gaps.
The question which comes up is, should the working woman adjust to her environment or should the environment adjust to the working woman? This is a question which this article is not supposed to answer.
It is important to act against this lack of women in consulting! Don’t let it scare you off. Show willpower. And help other young women in consultancy as well. Try to mentor, not compete, pay attention to women peers, and most importantly, sponsor and promote women. And do never try to put another woman colleague down in order to pull yourself up.
Ensure a significant representation of women in consulting and upper levels in the profession.
Want to link up to other female consultants?
Go to: https://www.womeninconsulting.org/
I hope that this article was not only informative but also a source of help for every Woman in Consulting!