Today, International Women’s Day, is a day to celebrate the achievements of women. Here at West Monroe, we are thrilled to recognize our employees’ accomplishments—for example, Maheshie Cabraal’s three-month fellowship in Sri Lanka and Cindy Garrett’s recognition as one of Consulting magazine’s “women leaders” in the industry. Bravo to these women and the many more who deliver every day for West Monroe clients, and also make the firm a great place to work.
Today is also an opportunity to discuss gender parity, which is a recurring topic in our industry as well as other industries. According to Consulting magazine, the consulting work force is made up of only about 25% women—significantly less than the 47% female representation in the overall U.S. labor force.
And why is that? Is it that the demands of consulting are that much more challenging? Is the fact that there are less women in our industry a detractor for those considering it as a career?
At West Monroe, we are actively exploring these questions. Although we are outpacing the market in growing women in our firm, women represent 29% of our workforce, it is still not where we want it to be. As a firm, we are talking more about women and the role they play in our business. This blog post marks the first in a series about women-in-consulting and business issues.
This year and beyond we are committed to hosting the open and honest dialogue that is essential to digging deep and discovering what we can do to attract and retain brilliant women, to consulting- and tech-based careers.
To deepen our commitment to women this year, we are:
- Beginning a partnership with Ellevate Network, a global professional network that provides extensive high-level networking opportunities, educational events, and professional skill-building activities for women. Here at WMP we seek to empower employees in their career development and advancement by offering the right tools, and Ellevate is one way we can help develop women leaders specifically.
- Focusing on recruiting strategies that will attract more women candidates. Our hard-working campus recruiting team is partnering with several women’s clubs on campuses this year to generate more awareness of the opportunities at West Monroe and the consulting industry in general among women college students.
- Ensuring every new hire is immediately welcomed into the Women’s Committee, an active group within WMP that brings all levels together to show that being a female in the consulting industry can provide unique possibilities throughout every stage of your career and life. The committee organizes social, professional, and community engagement events, and facilitates the ongoing conversation about what it means to be a woman in business through even simpler methods, like an email listserv.
Two of our women leaders have already started the conversation about their own challenges in navigating their careers. Here, Reva Busby shares 6 Lessons for the Working Mom’s Juggling Act, and here, Casey Foss talks about making tough choices every day amid the elusive “work-life balance.”
Look for more frank conversation starters like these in the weeks and months to come.
For now, let’s all explore what each of us can do to help develop a more inclusive work experience for women. And, take a moment to thank a woman in your life—work or personal—for her significant contributions at work, home or community.