Attracting female talent to consulting firms
Diversity is top of the agenda for a large number of our clients this year and integral to their growth plans. But what is it that attracts females to a consultancy? Does it differ to what appeals to men? Are you sending out the right messages as employers to attract and retain talent?
Everyone’s motivations remain different and often influenced by circumstance or by goals – This isn’t a type cast for all females but like it or not we tend to face more hurdles in clearly planning out a long term career pathway and so in addition to our regular personal career motivations, other things need to be considered in the long run to make a move, in particular to another consulting firm.
At Ascent Professional Services, we meet and speak with hundreds of management consultants every month, we found that there can be some clear differentiators in how some consulting firms attract females and demonstrate a clear pathway for them to remain top of their game, progress within the company whilst managing some of the typical reasons/ or drivers for females leaving consulting.
From speaking with female candidates over the past 6 months or even the length of my recruiting career, reoccurring common issues or cause for hesitation in meeting another consulting firm prevail:
These tend not to be the core drivers for females, they still remain the same as men more often than not; progression, interesting work, great team/ manager etc but in a candidate driven market, competing with all the other consultancies to attract female talent, taking certain measures to address some of these points could be the difference in securing that top female talent or letting them slip away to a competitor.
Where some consulting firms are making an impression
We work with a broad range of clients, typically boutique consultancies, who are often ahead of the game in addressing many of the points raised. For example, a number of our clients offer excellent ‘return to work’ programmes or are clear about the flexibility that can be given in the interview process often 4 days a week or hours that allow for school drop offs. Others have exemplary maternity pay schemes notable the best I’ve seen offering 6 months full pay and even shared parental leave.
Often we speak with clients and although they want to attract females there is no plan behind how to do so, or, they have initiatives and benefits in place but haven’t made them known!!
I’m very excited to speak or meet with people who would like to discuss this further or encountered positive or negative experiences in the diversity topic so please get in touch!
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