This year, in an effort to be transparent about the journey we are undertaking to strengthen our culture of inclusion with both our employees and external stakeholders – our clients and neighbors in the communities where we live and work – we are publishing a series of articles to create an open dialog about inclusion and diversity.
Our third paper focuses on specific ideas to create opportunities for employees to thrive in the workplace, and how these concepts benefit a wide range of employees to help to break down barriers to inclusion for all. While we do not view inclusion and diversity as an issue solely focused on just a few specific demographics, we know the professional services industry has long been a challenging place for women to build careers and thus the paper hones in on this particular example to frame the discussion. Firms in our profession often see more attrition among women as they reach management levels – when an environment that requires people to spend nights away from home and continually go above and beyond to deliver begins to clash with family or other interests. Left with a higher percentage of men in director and leadership levels, we sometimes hear that it can feel like a “boys’ club” – a feeling that will lead to greater disparity over time if the consulting space can’t find a way to grow and retain female leaders.
We hope the concepts presented spur some thinking about some of the concrete actions we can take to build an inclusive workplace with the best representation of ideas and experiences necessary to create great solutions for our clients. My co-author this quarter is Casey Foss, West Monroe’s marketing director, who shares her perspective as a leader and member of our executive team.
As we continue on our journey, we want this to be a conversation, and I invite you to leave a comment below if you have questions or ideas.
The first two papers in our Conversation on Inclusion & Diversity series may be found on our blog.