In the consulting industry, it is a known fact that fewer women are promoted to partner. However, the reasons may surprise you. Many top tier consulting firms are raising awareness and starting programs to encourage the promotion of women to senior positions.
According to chief operating officer at Catalyst, Deborah Gillis, an equal amount of men and women enter the consulting industry. So why don’t we see that many women in the higher ranks?
The Consulting Lifestyle
The consulting lifestyle isn’t a walk in the park. What you see in movies is not a proper depiction of the daily operations of a firm. Sleepless nights, meeting deadlines, followed by days on the road (or skies) spent traveling and catering to the needs of demanding clients are factors that even men have trouble juggling.
But perhaps the job scope isn’t to blame for why we don’t see enough women making partner. Another element to take into consideration is personal priorities, primarily when it’s time to start a family. Most women that hit this fork on a road will choose to take some time off to slow down and play the motherly role at home.
Because a consulting position takes uncompromising dedication, it is nearly impossible to have both at the same time. Many women that try to cater to both may find themselves on the same fork on a road, choosing between one or the other.
Women and Senior Positions
There are many core programs started by large consulting firms to increase the value of women in the workplace, with hopes to even out the number of females in senior positions. Accent on Women network, Accenture’s initiative program, is providing a venue for female executives and women leaders to come together and support each other’s future career goals.
In partner roles, how do women fair when compared to men? An article by Sarah Stewart in FT.com indicates the following statement:
“Research by Catalyst has found that companies with the most women board directors outperform those with the least by 16 per cent on return on sales and by 26 per cent on return on invested capital.”
In conclusion, with programs that urge the promotion of women to senior positions, we may see fewer men dominating the boardroom. Additionally, we may see an increase in the performance of such firms that are successful in supporting the career goals of women due to their positive impact on the operations of a firm.
Are you interested in the consulting lifestyle and wondering what it takes to make it in the consulting industry? Our consulting career free guide can give you a detailed glimpse of the job interview process. This can be very helpful for individuals who are looking into a career as a management consultant. We cover topics related to writing a comprehensive cover letter and resume, personality tests and case interviews.