Attracting, enabling & retaining top female talent is a challenge across all industries and sectors. At our inaugural Women in Leadership event last month Helena Morrissey (CEO of Newton Investment & Founder of the 30% Club) quite rightly told our audience of female undergraduates "your time is now" and moreover, that they were entering the world of work just as women were coming to the fore. However, whilst the headline message is a promising and optimistic one, for most organisations and businesses there is still a long way to go.
It is in this context that the recent activities and achievements of Deloitte stand out. Deloitte, one of the largest professional services organisations in the world, employs over 200,000 individuals worldwide and made ~$34bn in revenues globally last year. Their financial success and continued growth has taken place alongside a clear and impactful agenda seeking to rebalance the role of and opportunities for women in their workforce.
So what have they been up to?
The 30% Club
In March 2015, Deloitte became a part of the 30% Club - a group of business leaders committed to achieving better gender balance at all levels of an organisation. In particular, the group strives to achieve 30% female representation on FTSE 250 boards by the end of 2015. Deloitte's involvement with this fantastic initiative clearly signals their commitment to ensuring equal opportunities for men and women in the workplace.
The 50:50 agenda
Deloitte's 50:50 agenda is a set of activity working to attract and recruit equal numbers of men and women across all of their marketing and recruitment activity. As all too many business leaders will know, gender disparity increases as individuals become more senior and so getting the balance right at entry level is a fantastic way to help address the imbalance.
In February of this year, Deloitte appointed Cathy Englebert as the CEO of the US Firm. Cathy is not just the first female CEO of Deloitte but also the first female CEO of any Big Four firm globally, and so her appointment is even more significant. Cathy has worked at Deloitte for over 30 years, however with her fellow female peers she represents less than 25% of the US Partnership. Her success in taking on the leadership reigns is therefore even more spectacular.
Well done Deloitte. We look forward to following the next chapter of your success...